Boomkat Product Review:
Widening the aspect ratio and raising the budget, Portuguese-Danish prodigy Erika de Casier retains her tight grip on R&B nostalgia with 'Still', simultaneously poking around reggaetón and PinkPantheress-style soft jungle. It's more effortlessly intimate, club-friendly gear that'll be haunting ur mind long after it's finished - featuring guest spots from Shygirl, Blood Orange and They Hate Change.
'Lucky' might be driven by modish minced, jungly breakbeats, but look under the hood and you'll spot a swizzled, accelerated interpolation of Hungarian singer Linda Király's lesser-known, Rodney Jerkins-produced 2007 track 'Can't Let Go'. It's exactly the kind of cocktail of quirky nostalgia and contemporary hurdling that Erika de Casier's been shaking, not stirring, since she appeared fully formed on 2019's heartmelting 'Essentials'. We knew the ingredients - a pinch of Sade, a dash of Brandy, a sprinkling of UKG - but de Casier's comfortably shy bedroom delivery took us back to an idle childhood of headphones on, eyes shut. A few short years later, she sounds as if she's taken a few more emotional blows, but that enchanting closeness is still there, thank fuck. And although the meat of 'Still' doesn't disrupt her winning formula too much, de Casier lets 2024 seep in through the cracks.
She teams up with Shygirl on 'Ex-Girlfriend' (enlisting the great Nick Léon to help out with coproduction) and the two trade moans over a lilting, stepped beat that slows dembow to a neo-soul snap, hiding a sneaky reference to The Roots' Jill Scott-led gem 'You Got Me' in the weeds. And her collaboration with Devonté Hynes provides the biggest surprise, tipping into a lavishly romantic lilt that's Hollywood strength - without the saccharine hit. Singing confidently over papery, jazzy brushwork and '00s guitars, de Casier aims for the heart on 'Twice'. "You let me in, then you let me down," she moans. "Turned us off without an explanation." Elsewhere, she takes it low 'n slow on soaring, beatless standout 'The Princess', sprinkles fairy dust on '00s R&B (think MJB's 'Be Without You') on 'Test It' and sleazy, Aaliyah x Timbaland-alikes 'ooh' and 'My Day Off', and slips into moody despair on the quietly goth-pop closer 'Someone'.
One of those that hits instantly, and keeps on giving.