Austin-based Mélat boasts the kind of smoky, mid-range voice that once helped a young Alicia Keys pierce through the barrage of bubble-gum songbirds of the early 2000s. Blessed with a tone that can equally imply seduction and sorrow, the Ethiopian-American singer released a handful of singles and EPs over the past year full of bouncy, 88-degree R&B stuffed with comfort-food songwriting. I’m just saying you’re the pen, I’ll be your autograph/ as a matter of fact, you can sign me all over and over again, she sings here, over producer Jansport J’s layered loops and vocal-sample stabs reminiscent of Kanye’s “Runaway.” In fact, the LA-based beatmaker might be Mélat’s best asset yet–the duo meet in an exciting center between Dilla-ist hip-hop and smirking soul-pop, and a handful of collabs gave way to an upcoming collaborative EP. There’s a remix floating around if you’re curious, but we’ll be bumping this OG stream well into the weekend.
Stream: Mélat, “Fanclub”