Austin-based singer/songwriter Mélat wowed us with "Fanclub" early this summer, a dreamy take on early-aughts R&B that sounded like the best of Alicia Keys and Amerie's breakout days. She and LA producer Jansport J found a winning formula and stuck to it: their joint EP Move Me is a rich listen of chunky hip-hop soul, with sugary songwriting and a palette of ambitious samples that help it stand above the fray. R&B has enjoyed a well-documented resurgence in trendy circles, but the project sticks to fundamentals: cuts like "Revelation 8:2" and the title track closer find the Ethiopian vocalist flexing a potent, mid-range voice largely clean of auto-tune trickery, over beats we wouldn't mind hearing our favorite backpackers rhyme on. We're running out of moonlight, and the sun don't keep no secrets, Mélat riffs, but stuff this good shouldn't be kept quiet.
August 28, 2014