RnB has been going through an interesting transition this past last year. On one side there’s the usual suspects, Rihanna and Rita Ora, pushing their brand of dance floor ready beats to the masses. On the other, there’s the small few on the outskirts who went back to the basics and pushed forward, each putting their own unique spin on the expected – The Weeknd, Frank Ocean and, woman of the hour, Solange Knowles.
The singer ended 2012 on a high with the release of True, a 7-track EP, co-written and produced by Dev Hynes (better know as Lightspeed Champion and Blood Orange). Their addictive brand of ’80s influenced pop sparked the interest of many this past autumn, and as a result tonight’s show at Webster Hall is sold out. Taking to the stage, she looks every bit the indie darling with an effortlessly cool hairdo envied by every girl in the audience. Supported by two backing vocalists and a full band, including Hynes on guitar, the night kicks off with ‘Some Things Never Seem To Fucking Work’. The moment Solange hits that first note we’re unintentionally reminded of who she is – a Knowles and she’s got the flawless vocals to prove it.
The show is ultimately a celebration of her new record, but before we get too comfortable she wastes no time delving into her back catalogue. ‘T.O.N.Y’ is thematically in the same circle as True, but sonically it just doesn’t compare. The rest of the show sees each song from the EP get their well-deserved outing, including an extended version of ‘Looks Good With Trouble’. Forthcoming single ‘Lovers in the Parking Lot’ comes to life on stage, the story of a crumbling relationship contrasted by those sweet sounding vocals.
The expected highlight of the night is of course ‘Losing You’, the second that beat kicks so does the urge to dance. Solange and her band keep the vibe going, swaying from side to side with retro moves lifted straight from her music video. This is the high that the night should have ended on, but two more songs follow ‘Sandcastle Disco’ and ‘Crush’. The happy glow from ‘Losing You’ is still in the air, so the questionable change of pace is a non-issue.
You’d easily forget that Solange is only 26, there’s youthfulness to these new songs, but at the core of it all she is a seasoned artist with two studio albums under her belt. The difference this time around? You can see the belief she has in these new songs when performing. Solange has truly come into her own.