Tuesday, 23 April 2024
EditorialEPs & MixtapesNigerianReviews

Shols achieves perfection on “Dark Light Drive” [EP Review].

a playlist for the late night winter drive.

Shols ( TW: @Seyi_Shols)
Shols ( TW: @Seyi_Shols)

When Shols served up his debut project “Afro Therapy” in 2019, he showcased his knack for creating groovy soulful tracks suitable for moments of reflection. His iteration of “Afro-Soul” has earned him a badge as one of the top contributors to the sub genre and one of the creatives who keeps reinventing forms of fusing Afrobeats with emotive element of RnB and other vibrant sonic forms.

As the decade continued to roll on, Shols creative took a new turn as he broadened his horizon on the “Hybrid” EP which saw him lend his voice to the project, revealing his twin ability to produce and sing as well. The newly discovered capability at the time transcends into his new project “Dark Light Drive“, although now very much sharpened and developed with much dedication.

In what would serve as his third project, Shols offers a four track tape to highlight his creative dexterity and his artistic growth. On “Dark Light Drive“, Shols works with familiar faces to create a sonic marker on how he has evolved and also to display his ability to curate a great body of work.

EP Cover.

The sounds are a fusion of Afrobeats, Hip Hop and R&B. It is inspired by what I call “late night winter drive music”. Imagine yourself on a long late night drive and the sounds, vocals and instruments serve as the soundtrack to your journey. Enjoy the ride.

Shols on his new EP “Dark Light Drive”.

Makavelli” opens the tape with its smooth progression. If the title connotes anything, it is to expect only songs suitable for chill moments. Shols’ exquisite production sets the tone here with its bouncy bass and laid back instrumentations which are fused with much expertise and included at timed but appropriate intervals. Mukthar is very much a renowned collaborator with Sholz, but here it is the newcomer Damilfice that steals the show with his defiant speaking and chest thumping declarations that evokes so much confidence of his personality.

On “Amina“, Jayme makes an interesting love ode dedicated to his lover. It is on this track that very much showcase the powerful effect of a producer and artist being on almost similar wavelength in creating a record. Truth is, they both elevated each person’s performance by giving their optimal best. Shols’ production which is a blend of melodic pianos, guitars and a groovy baseline that supports Jayme’s love letter to Amina thereby striking an important blend for such a top notch cut.

Tracks list and credits.

The vibe bleeds into “Nia Long” which has almost similar components as the previous track. Here, Damilfice competes fiercely with Shols and it was not a bad decision as he seizes the spotlight again. What is more noteworthy here is how he alternates between different vocal texture he chooses to align with the production. The saxophone are also an interesting add to the already colourful production.

The opening seconds on “I Love It Here” typifies how much the production on the tape has been so elite and even more broadly, the track exemplifies the main components that has been on show throughout the project as it peaked new heights in its production, the songwriting was intentional, balanced and very much relatable with Shols working well with the artists to ensure only top quality is served. Serving as a close to the tape, Shols and Mukthar ponders on what could have been and inspite of how it has played out, they love the current situation of things and retain so much hope for the next things to happen.

Shols probably knew we needed a project filled with chilled songs to relax with and he gave us this masterpiece. In its conceptualization, Shols describes it as as music for a “late night winter drive”. It makes so much sense to see how the music created not only aligns with the creative direction but it also extends to the title of the tape and the art cover. Overall cohesion will always be a big deal and continue to be a yardstick in making verdicts on project. While that is one of it’s strength, it didn’t slack much in other areas.

Producer and artist combo are really a joy to behold especially when they both understand the assignment. Shols sticking to work with few artists who he is well familiar with on the four track tape raises the appeal of the tape and the decision to keep things short is a good one. For what it is worth, this is a top tier project with an almost flawless execution by all parties involved. It will make its mark and resonate well with listeners.

– This review is written by Adebayo Boluwatife, an Album Talks writer. ( Twitter: @BIG_BOLUWATIFE).

[LISTEN] Dark Light Drive by Shols.

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