Wednesday, 14 November 2012


This is what I like to hear: a complete disregard for the perceived stigma surrounding certain genres of music - in this case, R&B. Brooklyn-based Autre Ne Veut (aka Arthur Ashin) is one of those artists creating the music that he wants to create, no matter of what genre it will be doubtless shoved into. Indeed, in an interview with Dummy Mag, he said as much, revealing that "Sexy music and soulful singing, regardless of genre, has always been a preference." With that said, it's safe to say that this first taster of upcoming album, Anxiety and gives an inkling to how formidable a follow-up this will be to his 2010 self-titled debut. It's going to big - really big - so hold on to your hats, jump into the music, and await the album, scheduled for release 11th February 2013, with eager, hungry ears.

With Ashin's professed influences ranging from Annie Lennox to Katy Perry - all purveyors of radio-friendly pop hits - it's clear to see that there is a definite passion here for weighty sing-alongs, big choruses that drain the lungs of sound and feeling and words that people on a general level can get on board with. So, of course, sensual vocals play a big part in the slow-jams, R&B aesthetic of teaser single 'Counting', it starting with a wordless, choral refrain that isn't difficult to fall in love with straight away. Listen up:

The chorus of this hi-hat-riddled, ten-storeys-tall song is an instant classic from the moment it erupts in a multi-layered "I'm counting on you..." - a few listens to this song and you'll be guaranteed to summon the karaoke-lover in you and belt it out as the song grinds forward (grind like the dance, not like a literal grind). It's honestly that catchy. And with that slow, hip-hop pop rhythm, those softened pan-pipes, that breathy synth, those kaleidoscope arpeggios, 'Counting' has all the right elements that are mixed perfectly genuinely heartfelt pop song.

Yep. It feels like pop, it sounds like pop, smells and even looks and tastes like pop, but something about its not-so-highly-polished veneer and its masterful use of the space or the silence between the sounds (in the verse at least) to create a powerful atmosphere of the feelings that go with putting oneself 100% in the care of another, i.e. counting on them, suggests that it is so much more than just another pop tune.

Again, this has been the joyous Autre Ne Veut - 'Counting'. The album Anxiety is out 11th February 2013. Tell all your friends.

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