Following the positive reviews of her first two EPs, 000 100 and Teach Me, London-based Billie Black has now dropped a new EP, This Simple Pleasure. This latest release is a subtle change from the aforementioned EPs as her collaborations with producers Sam Gallaitry, Salute and Mura Masa enable her to divulge in more contrastive, evocative and alluring tracks. Black’s hauntingly soulful vocals juxtapose perfectly with the deep, electronic melodies and successfully add a darker tone to her otherwise ebullient releases.
By engaging with the genre of R&B edged electronic in a playful and soulful manner, Black manages to create tracks that are truly unique. The electronic production behind each track seems to belong to a deeper and mellower Clean Bandit, whilst the stunningly captivating vocals place her somewhere between Jessie Ware and Katy B.
The title track, and first song on the EP, immediately provides its listeners with contagious beats, powerful vocals and an addictive chorus. As the EP progresses however, some tracks do feel incomplete as they fail to progress into satisfying choruses. That said, the slow and sensual progression of tracks such as ‘Floating’ and ‘Fool for the Feeling’ are an aspect of their ambient nature and it is exactly this that enables her to put her own modern twist on soul.
‘Runner Up’, perhaps the most confusing track with its off-beat claps, tantalises its listeners by subverting their expectations and utilises sporadic pauses to leave them waiting to hear more. Likewise, in the final song of the EP, ‘Call You’, Black employs high-pitched vocals in order to demonstrate her diverse range and, quite literally, end the EP on a high.
The two tracks produced by Mura Masa are, perhaps, the two most brilliantly produced song as the electronic beats of Masa play out powerfully behind Black’s vocals and contrast against each other in the most perfect way.
This Simple Pleasure, is an engaging and intoxicating release from Black. She builds upon the greatness of her previous releases by producing new tracks that are both soulful and haunting. They reach into the darker elements of deep-house, add an R&B-esque to electronica and manage to highlight her versatility perfectly. Moving away from the effervescence of her previous releases, This Simple Pleasure contains tracks of a mature nature that ultimately leave its listeners craving more.
‘This Simple Pleasure’ is out now on Bblk Recordings