Dead Times 2
Photo Credit: Roman Koval

What is this sparse, synth-driven R&B trend officially being called? Neo-R&B? Electro-R&B? Whatever it is called, it is quite rare that this type of music really grabs me; while I can confidently say I am sent a great deal of this, it is a challenge to come up with a list of bands. Sure there are some winners in every catalog, but more often than not it all just sounds the same to me. The bands traversing in this area are a blur of beats and soulful moans.

Not so with the LA-based Dead Times, or at least the majority (majority!) of the tracks I’ve heard from them thus far.

With it’s cathartic hook, complete with clapping and a choir, I guarantee “Better Off” will be stuck in your head for weeks. The string and piano elements on “Feel” add a gravity and depth not often found in this genre. And overall the vocal production is imperfect in a way that creates intimacy, purity and energy. I always appreciate when the lyrics sound like they came out of actual people’s mouths and I can fully understand each word.

 And if you don’t believe me, believe KCRW, who featured “Better Off” on the blog in early October:

File Under: R&B, electronic, soul, How To Dress Well, Kindness, Chet Faker