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EP Review: Lulu James – Be Safe

“Use me as your guide to the right path,” proclaims Lulu James on her new EP. The sultry soul singer has forged a path all her own with the unique blend of electronica and soul on her new release, which is a mesmerising mix of opposing musical forces: spacey electronica with raspy soul, matched with moody vocals over ambient beats, create James’ 21st Century soul.

The 21 year old from Newcastle has been turning heads with her enchanting sound ever since she released the Rope Mirage EP earlier this year. Now signed to Black Butter Records, James’ innovative sound is being greeted with much acclaim and her latest creation has really got heads moving to those hypnotic vibes.

‘Be Safe’ places James’ evocative, soulful vocals on top of an ambient electronic beat, laced with hypnotic percussions and moody undertones –the title track is a stellar example of modern music. Sultry-smokey sounds echo with India Arie and Erykah Badu vibes; whilst the absorbing, futuro-soul beat provides the backdrop on what is without doubt one of the songs of the year.

There is slick production by Mao on the ‘80s-inspired second track, with James’ gorgeous, brooding voice shining all over the mightily impressive ‘Stuck’. The mellow, atmospheric beat next to James’ soaring, powerful vocals, makes it the perfect accompaniment to the darkening ‘Be Safe’, and the ideal track for that late night lounging.

Be Safe is an EP to pick up and put on repeat. With a debut album anticipated, Lulu James and her nu soul sound are definitely on the right path.

-Chris Matthews

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