Boomkat Product Review:
Awful Records’ breakthru star and leading light of ATL, Abra sees her widely celebrated debut album Rose remastered and pimped-up for this deluxe vinyl issue via Ninja Tune.
As the story goes, Abra was discovered by Awful Records’ Father after uploading videos of herself doing acoustic covers of rap songs to YouTube c.2013. Fast fwd to 2017 and she’s graced magazine covers, guested on Charli XCX’s Drugs, and been hailed as one of the hottest artists to emerge from Atlanta’s fertile underbelly in recent years; one in possession of a classic, fresh R&B sound steeped in ‘80s and ‘90s tropes and with a patina of subtly psychedelic/ambient production to boot.
Rose features Abra as the star of her own show, with stripped-back, self-produced beats giving a firmly funked-up but stark platform for her modest, unaffected and compellingly soulful vocals, which tread the finest line between aloof and necessarily economical.
All of that means nowt in R&B and synth-pop terms without tunes, though; and Rose has bags of them. From the lean darkwave groove and ‘90s R&B cadence of Roses thru the 808 subs and crack of her surefire heaters U Kno and Fruit, to the drily percolated 3-step house of No Chill and addictively strong gear such as $hot with its DX7 bass twang, or Jeep-ready freestyle-electro bumps of Tonight!, she’s seriously generous with the earworms.