This Fresh Finds Fridays column features releases from Roy Woods, Leon Thomas, Bea Anderson, Byron Juane, Baely, IX Wulf, and Marlaé. Check out this week’s roundup column curated by contributor Flisdam Pointer below. Don’t forget to let us know who you’re listening to below in the comment section.
Roy Woods – Mixed Emotions
It’s been three years since the release of Roy Woods’ last project. But, the wait is officially over. Now that the Brampton, Ontario, native’s new album, Mixed Emotions, is here, all has been forgiven by his fans.
On the 17-track project, Woods stays true to his hybrid rap and R&B vocal delivery, adding dancehall elements to, on occasion, spice things up. However, to be fair, on Mixed Emotions, the musician leaned further into melodic singing than anything else. His singles “Test What I Know,” “Don’t Mind Me,” “Young Boy Problems,” and “Don’t Love Me,” which were released throughout the year, painted a full picture of what to expect on the nearly hour-long body of work.
Coi Leray, Jada Kingdom, and Vory all make vocal appearances on Mixed Emotions. While OVO Sounds co-founder Noah “40” Shebib and Yung Swisher are just a few of the credited producers. Mcevoy, Dimitri Andic, Mike Hector, and thanks to Woods’ sample of Mary J. Blige’s song “Not Gonna Cry” on his record “Don’t Mind Me,” Babyface earned writing credits on Mixed Emotions. The album’s standout tracks are “Insecure” and “Down Like That.”
Although Roy Woods hasn’t spoken much about the making of the album, in an Instagram post, he penned, “I’m giving y’all all of ME on this album.” After fans have had a chance to sit with the album, Woods will open up more about what went into creating Mixed Emotions.
Leon Thomas – “Breaking Point Remix” feat. Victoria Monét
Leon Thomas’ songwriting resume reads like a who’s who of the music industry. As the driving force behind more than a few No. 1 albums and songs, Thomas often times chooses to play the background. That is not the case with his latest releases. Instead, he is shining a light on his multi-hyphenated abilities.
His enticing single “Breaking Point” is back with a special new addition. On “Breaking Point Remix,” Thomas tapped fellow songwriter for the stars, Victoria Monét, for a masterclass in penmanship.
The orchestric slow-tempo track, co-produced by Thomas, Coleman, and Don Mills, details the moment of realization that the flame that once burned bright with love for your romantic partner may never longer be salvageable.
To deepen the already vast emotional hole, Victoria sings, “Like fire on an ocean floor / I don’t understand how we’re here / We could be crashing to the ground and somehow still reach a ceiling / We boiling ’till the water drifts away until we’re feeling / By now we know that we are both past the point of healing,” gutting the idea of reconciliation.
The pair agrees, joining in together on the chorus, to harmonize their goodbyes, “Way past the breaking point / ‘Cause I can’t turn down the noise / You are my only choice / And we’re both just filling voids.”
As the second offering of the track, Leon Thomas took to social media to chat with fans about the record. “I’m beyond blessed to have had the opportunity to collaborate with someone who not only understood the feeling but shared her perspective. So excited for y’all to hear this remix,” wrote Thomas on Instagram
Bea Anderson – “Astronomical” feat. Jords
If you aren’t familiar with Bea Anderson, you need to get acquainted. The South East London native is rapidly becoming the UK’s R&B darling. With a growing list of widely received records, including “Picture Perfect” and “Pieces,” the songstress is looking to continue that streak with her new track.
With a rapped assist from Jords and production by Jarom S’ua, the musician’s latest single, “Astronomical,” is a stellar projection of their abilities. In a statement, Bea Anderson spoke about the inspiration behind the track. “This project taught me that love can go so much further than our expectations if we trust it enough. The song is a direct dialogue between two lovers, not about what they can take from one another, but what they can give,” said Bea.
As she sings ever so romantically sings about her infatuation with her beau, that love story becomes abundantly clear. Bea took to social media to thank her collaborator for helping her to align her musical goals on the track. “What a full circle moment, Jords, thank you for making this song so special and for your constant support. thank you to everyone involved in bringing this release together, it’s been a journey, but it feels so good to finally share this piece of art,” wrote the recording artist on Instagram.
Byron Juane – “Bands On You”
Yesterday (July 27), Bryon Juane might’ve celebrated his birthday, but he’s the one handing out treats. On his new single, “Bands On You,” produced by Jeremy Dupree, the singer is putting all his effort into pampering his lady.
In a tweet, he wrote, “Spoiling a woman isn’t just about money, spoil her in your time, in your effort, in your love. Spoil her with consistency,” but Byrone is afraid to drop a bag when necessary. To show his appreciation to her lover, Byron lets the cash flow as he sings, “I’d drop these bands on you / Let’s just call it babe / We both grown it’s late and I ain’t tryna play / All you gotta say is the time and place / Know I’m on the way.”
In his past release, “Obsessed,” Byron was all about physical touch whereas “Bands On You,” is about gifts. As the age-old saying goes, it ain’t treating if you got it and Byron wants his ladies to have it all in more than one way.
Baely – “Summer”
Across the world, there have been record-breaking heat waves. Regardless of the scorching temperatures, Baely is still here to enjoy the “Summer.” On the track named in honor of the season, the South London native outlined his wishlist of activities for the weeks of high sun.
Baely’s intention couldn’t be more upfront as he sang, “Catch a flight, getaway, come on board in the black Chevrolet / Motorsport we can ride into the night out of Hollywood / Nothing wrong with living life, feels good / You’re my queen let me serve / You know that above everything I’d put you first,” he wants to let go of all his worries on hold onto to his lady tighter as he does it. Nothing will stop a man with a plan, so Baely is bound to accomplish it all plus more.
Producers Kevin Lavitt and Lophiile, added a breezy pocket on “Summer,” which always Baely’s refreshing carefree motives to pollinate the listener’s optimistic joy that the summer season brings. The singer took to Instagram to thank the duo for their efforts in getting the record complete, writing, “Bringing this one together was an experience I’ll never forget and to finally be able to share it with you all feels incredible! Thank you for all the love so far – I see you,” before adding, “A huge thank you to every person that was involved in bringing this vision to life!”
IX Wulf – “Feel Alive”
Every once in a while, you crave a euphoric release. These bursts of dopamine hits make give you the boost you need to power through this tumultuous world. New Jersey singer and songwriter IX Wulf understands this quite well or so his new single conveys.
“Feel Alive,” which was produced by Esai, is plunging exploration into bliss. As Wulf sings, “Honest anticipation / I swear I’m on 10 and I need it again quit delaying / Come handle this situation / We got to finish what we started / You know i fuck with you the hardest / Every time you do what you do to me I feel alive / Love me so good make me feel alive,” he is vulnerable in not only his need to unwind but to grant that dominating power over to his lover.
IX Wulf’s previous singles “Doubtful” and “To Your Side” are the other two peas in his pod of emotional exposure.
“When dealing with someone who isn’t always yours, there’s pauses. Almost as if you’re living within snippets of time. Everything between the last time you were with them, and the present moment, was as if you were asleep. This song celebrates the feeling of those brief moments of feeling truly alive with that person,” said the singer in a statement to ThisIsRNB regarding the inspiration behind the track.
“Feel Alive” will appear on IX Wulf’s forthcoming visual EP, Heal Yourself First, due out on September 15. In a note uploaded to Instagram, Wulf spoke about what fans can expect from the upcoming body of work, saying, “This project is a reminder to self. A culmination of the experiences that lead me to the realization that I need to do the inner work in order to be good for anybody. Love found, love lost, triumphs & heartbreaks. Moving forward without acknowledging their effects only harms the path forward. You can’t fill anyone else’s cup if yours is empty. This project is an ode to the experiences that lead me to put myself first.”
Marlaé – “Touch”
Ella Mai, Summer Walker, and H.E.R. all know South Florida singer Marlaé’s name which means if you’re a lover of R&B music you should too. Previously known by the stage name, Marlounsly, the vocalist has already seen viral success back in 2018. Now under her new moniker, she’s looking to do it all over again.
On her new single, “Touch,” Marlaé is in her words entering her sexy era and is encouraging others to tap into their as well. The mid-tempo bop is a consensual call to action as the musician broadcasts her need for physical acts of affection.
“Leave it alone if you don’t know how to love me / That physical touching / You want to hold me close to you baby / And I don’t blame you / Ever since the day you met me we knew / You had to hold it down / Wanna see what I can do / You want this and I want that / We never seem to work it out,” sings Marlaé.
When discussing the inspiration behind the track, Marlaé described “Touch,” as “Record about intimacy. It’s about healing and connecting through touch.”
Although Marlaé may not be able to make a tangible connection with the listener, that doesn’t stop you from feeling the push to groove along with her new smooth single.