Rochelle Jordan Pressure

Rochelle JordanPressure
Aaliyah influences abound throughout Rochelle Jordan's new mixtape Pressure ― and to say the Toronto R&B/soul artist has growing buzz would be a severe understatement. Building off the warmly received and critically heralded 2011 mixtape effort ROJO, the newly dropped Pressure continues along an artistic through-line that filters elements of '90s R&B ― think Kelis, Amel Larrieux, and the aforementioned Aaliyah ― into a concentrated, postmodern soul dose of multilayered beats and breathy vocals. Indeed, Jordan and producer KLSH refine what made ROJO such an enjoyable listen ― a highly atmospheric vibe, snare-driven beats ― and pack the 12-track Pressure with a now-trademark progressive production that simultaneously reaches for flashy and minimalist. Tracks like "Losing," "Somebody" and "Pressure" wistfully put modern day relationships on blast ("Why you walk away when I just wanna talk/Babe, if you stay we can turn the lights off," the singer-songwriter coos on the title track) and travel along an evidently deeply personal wavelength. "Couldve Been" is perhaps the standout track on the project, a mid-tempo number that confidently invokes late '90s Janet Jackson. More than a throwback, Pressure represents an unapologetic, understated sound that frankly sounds like nothing in R&B right now. (Independent)