Boomkat Product Review:
Oozing with classic but contemporary soul, ‘Help’ is the definitive album opus by multi-disciplinary artist Duval Timothy, who’s pulled in co-producers Rodaidh McDonald (King Krule, The xx) and Marta Salogni (Björk) for an excellent full length bullet.
Dished up on his Carrying Colour label and also starring a glittering roll call of Lil Silva, Vegyn, Mr. Mitch, Dave Okumo, and Twin Shadow, a.o., the 3rd album by the Sierra Leone/London-based producer/visual artist weighs in at 18 songs long and spells out a lush, affective spectrum of modern soul. It is based on his experiences of the music industry since emerging in 2016 with ‘Brown Loop’, over which time he’s christened NTS radio’s label arm on a split 7” with Mica Levi, published a celebrated cookbook for Penguin Books, installed his art in the Tate’s Turbine Hall, and seen his music sampled by Solange and Loyle Carner, whilst also dealing with the everyday travails of life.
The album is radiant with instrumental, electronic, and vocal tones, with the latter shared by a mix of singers - both straight-up and playfully processed - alongside samples of self-help YouTube videos. In effect he acts as a resilient conduit for those that need it, letting his feelings flow thru keys and gorgeous synth pads that hearken back to seminal ‘80s soul and ‘90s R&B. It’s really all best done in a sitting, as his emotions gracefully fleet between the hope of ‘Next Tomorrow’, to the pointed but graceful hit of ’Slave’ - a cutting shot at the record industry - and brooding soul beauties such as ‘Fall Again’ featuring a spine-tracing duet between Lil Silva & Melanie Faye, or on the tenderly warped, BoC-like electronica of ‘Something’ with Mr. Mitch, before he really comes into his own on the second, mostly instrumental half full of quizzical, expressive souljazz that really says it without saying it.