Welp, its Friday folks. Which means its my duty to cap off the work week with some freshness for you 9-to-5ers. This week’s First Look Friday features the enigmatic 80’s baby stylings of KES; an LA based young gun who’s quickly cementing himself into the coveted grey areas of R&B, mashing the clean tonality of that glittery decade with the blurred borders of the contemporary urban dreamscapes of today. His debut EP Audio Justice delivers these sentiments in droves, with formidable nods to Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis, David Bowie and (of course) Prince.
Standouts from the freshman release include the Frank Ocean-meets-Depeche Mode vocal treatments, trap styles and swirling choral embellishments of “Redemption” and–author’s pick– “Arabian Paradise”; a visceral 808 and synth driven heater that flies us over the Sahara to bear witness to the sugar mama escapades of KES. Its a true discourse in all things left of center and it seems to have caught the attention of some true-blue big-wigs on the Golden Coast with Babyface and LA Reid giving their cosign and marking the first joint signing of an artist to Epic Records in 25 years. So yeah, we’ve only seen the tip of what’s to come from the Compton by way of Orange County crooner. So keep your ears to the ground folks, this kid is going to be making noise for years to come. Listen to KES’ debut Audio Justice below.