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Chicago-born new artist Amatus recently relocated to New York and has released a debut EP called Broken Compass. Amatus has been on the nu-soul and funk scenes for a while now, recording backup lyrics with the likes of Erykah Badu and The Roots. A true music writer, Amatus is also scoring a new documentary series for Al-Jazeera U.S., so the diverse sound on her new album is not surprising.
Nu-soul forms a solid base to Broken Compass, but the feel of the album, as well as to Amatus’ voice, shows much more. Musically the writing is clean as would be expected of a pro composer, and ventures into synth-pop and indie rather seamlessly.
A good example of this genre-blending comes from the opening track on Broken Compass, “Messin.” There’s definitely a thread of nu-soul there, but Amatus’ voice is lighter and crisper than the average raspy soul Mezzo. Jody Watley would be a good comparison, but only in vocal texture. The style of vocals as well as the more-syncopated-than-hip hop beats and grinding, Moog-inspired synths are all Amatus:
The video itself, directed by Ash Innovator, is also quirky and fun, showcasing a group of people representing their racial and cultural stereotypes running a “Race for Life.” All the participants are shackled and they all cheat. Interesting imagery to go with a truly interesting and fun album – it’ll be a perfect addition to summer playlists this year.
Broken Compass can be streamed in its entirety on SoundCloud by clicking above, and is for sale to download on her BandCamp page. Keep up with news, tour dates, and all things Amatus on her Facebook page.
Written By Layla Marino