Danielle Carr, a rising young singer, songwriter and producer, is an independent artist based in New York whose objective is to – in her words – “Open people’s eyes, and soothe people’s ears.” She has just dropped her 7 track EP, entitled “Pablo”. R&B and Soul changed in marvelous fashion in the late 90’s when inspired young musicians took the best qualities of old R&b and Soul and crossed them over them an unimposing but tight new form. They sang about hope for the future, faith in freedom, love, and modest joys. The old R&B eventually reemerged in the form of nu-soul. Danielle Carr releases her EP in a similar style, but with her own twist. She returns to the attractive aesthetic of old Soul but incorporates the popular urban trends of our time and instead of only embracing the superficial ramblings of her contemporaries, she wisely delves into introspective territory.
Danielle delivers effortless, well-controlled vocals on top of complementary beats. Her voice is jazzy and soulful, but with a type of measured, sensual confidence distinguishing her from the rest. Where her contemporaries scream out pent up emotion, Danielle Carr is singing profoundly and intimately as if her audience is right next to her, getting a clear glimpse of her world. The opening track, “Honey”, is clever and exciting, laced across a playful piano driven soundscape, nicely forming the mood of the entire recording.
“Like Earth” references a romantic philosophy, while riding an exotically infused beat. The self-aware lyrics and conceptual ideas guides the track from the start. Channeling an impeccably charming brand of empathy on her listeners, Danielle captivates with her rhythmic and vocal allure on “Season Change”, as she switches between tempos and moods. These moments are necessary for a recording that sees Danielle Carr striving so fearlessly for a voice and a sound to distinguish her as a singular, forward-thinking artist.
The way the voices rise and fall throughout “Stuck” is powerful and beautiful at the same time. The electric piano and sparse bass is perfection. I don’t know how anyone with an ounce of rhythm in their body could not love this track.
Simply soul-stirring. “Next To Me” is a soundtrack to Danielle’s new artistic awakening, a statement that yearns to make the best out of her influences and establish the woman herself as a force to be reckoned with. From the darker, more surreal verses, to the determined, aspiring chorus, the song invokes the theme of taking all of her quirky sounds and making them into one unique characteristic.
By the time you hit play on “New Fame”, the range of styles you encounter on this EP is about as impressive as the range of vocals Danielle employs throughout – going seamlessly from indie urban to somber R&B storms, and from quirky soul melodies to sparse, intimate instrumentation.
The lyrics on “Yin & Yang” drip heavily with Danielle’s determination to express a modern vision, presenting an image of females being more self-assured than previous generations, in sexual and romantic relationships.
Juxtaposing all of these themes and sounds, the distinctly intimate vocal nuances highlight all of the sparkling aspects of the production and gives them clear definition, making the EP have all the defined shades of mainstream while retaining all of the moodiness and creativity of indie. “Pablo” is definitely an EP that promises a lot and tries its hardest to earn the listener’s trust. Which it absolutely does.
It is a recording of careful yet ambitious craft, with every track being confident in its statement. All of which anchor themselves into Danielle Carr’s distinct vocals and R&B sensibilities. This recording is an entertaining one for the casual listener, a fresh one for the critical ear and a fascinating one for the Danielle Carr fan.