Harleighblu - Futurespective EP2 (Digital EP, Tru Thoughts, 2015)
Harleighblu - Futurespective EP 2
(Digital EP) Tru Thoughts TRUDD150, 2015-09-25
01. Real Good feat. Spectrasoul 03:16
02. Forget feat. Captain Supernova 04:02
03. Another One feat. Audio Sparks 04:12
04. Real Good feat. Spectra soul (Instrumental) 03:13
05. Real Good feat. Spectra soul (Acapella) 03:04
06. Forget feat. Captain Supernova (Instrumental) 04:03
07. Forget feat. Captain Supernova (Acapella) 03:31
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Press Release :
25th September brings the second instalment in Harleighblu’s “Futurespective” EP series. Her signature sound solidifying into something extraordinarily multi-layered and fresh as she continues her exploration of eclectic future beats, on EP 2 the rising star collaborates with genre-bending D&B duo SpectraSoul (ShogunAudio), Audio Sparks (AKA Bugz in the Attic’s Daz-I-Kue) and LA producer Captain Supernova. These three tracks combine Harleighblu’s innately soulful, hip hop-inflected style with a frank songwriting slant and the energy and gleam of forward-thinking production.
The EP kicks off with the arresting clatter and crunch of “Real Good feat. SpectraSoul”, premiered by MistaJam on BBC R1/1Xtra. The Brighton production duo (whose recent LP ‘The Mistress’ won acclaim across the board, from Mixmag to Huw Stephens to TimeOut) complement Harleighblu’s versatile voice, ramping up from the enticing prowl of the verse to a super-sharp chorus for a shape-shifting, catchy pop nugget with the fire of a club classic.
Diving headlong into the depths of her consciousness, Harleighblu picks up where she left off on the first “Futurespective” EP (June), a bold outing that had tastemakers and fans sitting up and taking notice of a young artist on the move. “The whole EP is kind of dark and creepy in sound, and lyrically I’m being honest about the things that come into my head.” she says. “On “Real Good” I just decided to go really overtly sexual on it, as the beat was so grimy and cool and fresh”. One of her strongest influences, Amy Winehouse, is in evidence across the EP in the wry, bluesy and self-chastising lyrics, a time-honoured style that Harleighblu is keen to explore in a modern electronic context.
“Forget feat. Captain Supernova” continues the effortless momentum, the LA producer’s killer bassline intertwining with Harleighblu’s tumbling, freeform melody and rich vocal tone on an ode to self-discovery, new experiences and the escapist properties of “Mary Jane”; who knew that when the US West Coast met the toast of the UK’s East Midlands we’d have 2015’s answer to Erykah Badu on our hands?
The closing track sees Harleighblu working with Audio Sparks (new alias from beats legend Daz-I-Kue) for a stunning update of the hip hop-soul style that announced her as a raw talent on 2013’s ‘Forget Me Not’ album - layering echoes of that classic sound with a dark, disco strut and a sparkling, synth-led futuristic clarity. “How can some guys have so many on the go at once and it’s fine?” says Harleighblu, on her inspiration for “Another One”; “How can you squash your feelings for one person and go with another one? I recently tried to be a player, but I found it really difficult!”
Brimming with personality and dexterity, Harleighblu’s music and performances have seen her praised by everyone from BBC Introducing to Echoes, who snapped her up for their cover. 300K+ YouTube hits add to media love including Q, Clash, DJ Mag, AfroPunk, SoulBounce, Earmilk, Artrocker and USA Today; props and airplay from Charlie Sloth, Trevor Nelson, Target, Don Letts, Nemone, Huey Morgan, John Kennedy, Harry Shearer and Chase & Status; and live sessions for XFM X-Posure, The Selector and MistaJam. With 50+ plays at BBC 1Xtra, a wide spread of support elsewhere includes heavy coverage in France, a country which has taken Harleighblu to its heart. The last year-or-so has seen the Nottingham talent stealing the national and international limelight with more than 50 gigs including major festivals (The Great Escape, Glastonbury, Bestival, Shambala, Boomtown, Gilles Peterson’s Worldwide, Green Man, Soundwave, MIDEM) and a 10 date French tour, as well as guesting with SpectraSoul and supporting the likes of Amp Fiddler.
Furthering her progression in sound, 2015 has also seen Harleighblu spending time in the studio with Mr Scruff, after the renowned producer was blown away by one of her live shows. Her voice has always been a magnet for collaborators and remixers; recent single releases have featured Peshay, Astro Raw (LionBabe), Titeknots, The Last Skeptik, Klashnekoff and Rocé (with others, including Eats Everything and Starkiller - the production outfit of C.E. Garcia and Alfredo E. Fratti, members of Adrian Younge's Venice Dawn - also lining up to work with her).