For years, the music of UK vocalist Olivier Daysoul has been burning bright. A deep-voiced songwriter with a penchant for collaboration, the man has worked alongside Onra, Bibio and Hudson Mohawke in the studio and logged many a mile on the road with Oddisee‘s live backing band. If R&B were a kitchen, Olivier could rightly say that he’s worked every single station, from savory to sweet.
But now, a change is happening. For his new Black Music project, the “Daysoul” moniker is being shed; Olivier is taking up his proper surname–St. Louis–as his new artistic identity, and from the sound of things the effect has been one of revitalization. It only takes a few seconds for opener “Ain’t Cool” to find its stride, coasting Curtis Mayfield-like on the breeze. Things time travel to the late 90s on “Dog In Man,” which features a Dilla-level drum chop and more syrupy vocals. “Ship is Going Down” is an all-sneering strut, while EP closer “The Proud” gradually unfolds as a patient, tender ballad. With just one short and sweet record, the new Olivier St. Louis has already proven that there’s no groove he can’t bend to his melodic will.
Released on Jakarta Records, Black Music was entirely produced by St. Louis, and 90% of its instrumental tracks were self-recorded as well. It’s a new chapter, a new name and a new level of creative concept. And if this is where we’re restarting from, the future should be very beautiful indeed. Okayplayer presents the world premiere of Olivier St. Louis’s Black Music below. Pre-order your own copy on Bandcamp ahead of its October 30th release. As an added bonus, watch a video clip for “Ain’t Cool” after the jump.