Born in Silver Spring, Maryland, Idow is a singer, songwriter, producer and audio engineer who creates alternative R&B, merging downtempo electronica, with soulful R&B. She began to write songs at a younger age, but took things more seriously at the age of 17, releasing her first single a tear later. Now 22, the artist has released her “Summer’s Over” EP. Idow has a knack innovation in music, and especially for marrying human emotion with cutting-edge technology beyond gimmickry, she sets her own bar high. It’s difficult not to be impressed with her productions; there is such silkiness to Idow’s music that it can initially drape itself over you with its sheer conviviality. To fully absorb the myriad of musical strands she weaves together, repeat exposure is both necessary and ultimately rewarding.
The production on Idow’s records is heavy, but it’s so complementary to her vocals and melodies that it’s almost her signature. Her voice is smoky, but it also soars in an ethereal way that adds a certain gentleness to even her most dramatic songs. In relation to her music, which is richly creative and generously accessorized, lyrically Idow paints poetically poignant pictures. Her words tumble out in sultry lines, in a stream of consciousness to befit a deep-thinking mind.
The EP starts with the gurgling basslines and echoing voices of “U Know”. The soundscape Idow creates under her soothing vocal, is quirky and adventurous, but never messy. It is thoughtfully crafted, and each odd little sonic element you hear is exactly where it’s supposed to be.
“December” is musically more restrained, relying on a simple keyboard motif and Idow’s seductive storytelling voice to captivate the listener. The poignancy of her vocals do the work of an orchestra.
That Idow’s voice is a thing of beauty is confirmed on “Trusted You, Pt. II”. Couple this with the fact that everything she does is executed with an unparalleled effortlessness both technically and emotionally. The track gently bounces on a hypnotic head-nodding groove, and it’s a great cross-section of everything that makes Idow truly magnificent.
The EP reaches an absolute apex with the final track “Nasty”. The piano driven momentum of “Nasty” is beautifully supported by Idow’s spectacularly nuanced vocal which has strands of Adele’s heartfelt tonalities naturally built-in. It is an utterly gorgeous song with which to finish this record.
“Summer’s Over” is a truly breathtaking project start to finish and a testament to a young artist who transcends any sort of preconceptions about what Alternative R&B music can be. Better still, she does so with poise, style and a progressive inquisitiveness that is hard to find in many of her peers working today.
EP is the sort of small-scale conceptual independent record that sounds so much bigger and more meaningful than you expect it to be at the outset. Either way, “Summer’s Over” is definitely something you need to hear, because in terms of popular music in general, and especially R&B this year, nothing quite sounds like Idow.
Apple Music: https://music.apple.com/us/artist/idow/id1535297203