While we, for the most part, are always on the cutting edge of this here soul music thing, the sheer influx of goodness that’s been coming our way means that some hotness slips through the cracks. Luckily we have an opportunity to right our wrong when it comes to mysterious songstress H.E.R. The shadowy chanteuse has gotten bloggers, tastemakers and her peers alike caught up in the mystery of discovering her identity while nodding their heads to her impressive debut EP, H.E.R. Volume 1.
H.E.R. Volume 1 finds the singer musing on love over the course of seven tracks, showing off a promising talent in the process. On the seven-song project she delivers slow jams alternating between heartbreak and making love that keep in the vein of the recent trap soul movement led by Bryson Tiller. Some songs, particularly lead-off track “Losing” and “Wait For It,” incorporate familiar elements of past hits (in their case, Aaliyah‘s “At Your Best” and Floetry‘s “Say Yes”) to create hazy jams about the uncertainties that love and relationships bring. Then there are songs that go their own way, like the direct “Facts” and “U,” which make her overtures of love quite plain and clear. Then there’s “Focus,” which utilizes delicate piano arpeggios and sets them against heavy 808s, skittering hi-hats and woozy production to soundtrack an encounter in which she demands her lover’s full attention. She switches up with “Jungle,” a take on Drake‘s track of the same name that utilizes the same sample of Gabriel Garzón-Montano‘s “6 8.” Meanwhile, final track “Pigment” weaves a tale that alternates between her alluring vocal and her speaking voice over a slightly jazzy piano and bass arrangement. However, after 90 seconds, the song is cut far too short, leaving us anxious for more to come.
We’re not the only ones feeling H.E.R., as the mystery woman has gotten co-signs from the likes of Alicia Keys, Wyclef Jean and Tiller. And, of course, her talent has had many seeking to discover the face behind the voice, with Genius offering some pretty compelling evidence that the shadowy figure on the EP’s cover is up-and-coming songstress Gabi Wilson, though those claims have neither been confirmed or denied. Whoever H.E.R. really is, one thing’s for sure: she’s undeniably talented. Give H.E.R. Volume 1 a spin below and then pick up the set at your digital retailer of your choice to get to know H.E.R. for yourself.