LOONY Is Both the Sun and the Breeze on 'soft thing' EP
Published Jun 28, 2021It's been more than a year since Scarborough singer LOONY dropped her JOYRiDE EP. Her follow-up, soft thing, proves that the time between projects was better than well spent.
Candid, smooth and decidedly grown up, soft thing conjures the best of the neo-soul era, thanks to LOONY's soulful vocals and lush, crisp production from the likes of Adam Pondang, Jordon Manswell and onetime Noah '40' Shebib apprentice Akeel Henry. There are no thumping, summer anthems on soft thing — rather, it's an easygoing listen that can take you from a sangria-fueled kickback to the bedroom without skipping a single song.
As LOONY has risen in R&B's ranks, she's earned comparisons to Erykah Badu and Sade and she certainly proves herself to be a student of these greats with her vocal delivery. Badu's influence shines on "ours"; LOONY's spitfire pace here borders spoken-word poetry. On the smouldering "mine," LOONY bends her notes and injects softness at just the right moments. On "raw," one of soft thing's most vulnerable tracks, LOONY's voice is both the sun and the breeze. Combined with a laid-back blend of soulful guitars, knocking drums and jazzy horns, the whole song plays like a lazy Sunday afternoon.
For more technical music fans, soft thing's attention to detail will also stand out. LOONY is in full command of her instrument, playing with power and restraint throughout the project. Sequencing and transitions, overlooked artforms for many artists, are done perfectly as well. If you put the EP on shuffle, you'll miss the way the moments between the music tell a story on their own. Each song flows effortlessly into the next and from the beginning of soft thing to the end, the lyrics tell a complete story: at the outset, LOONY is someone who is too proud to let her guard down (opener "beg") but by the end of the project, the shameless, late night "you up?" texts start flying (closer "faceless"). It's good on first listen but blooms a little more with each repeat.
Since last year, LOONY has made fans out of Sir Elton John, Ebro Darden and a slew of music critics. While it can be daunting to try and measure up to a bar set so high, LOONY rises to every challenge on soft thing. If you have yet to put this songbird on your radar, now would be the perfect time. LOONY is headed nowhere but up. (AWAL)