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Taylor McFerrin Early Riser Brainfeeder

The first fruits from Taylor McFerrin’s debut album Early Riser fell from the tree way back in 2012.

If you gathered any of them at the time (such as the hypnotic Place in my Heart, featuring the otherworldly voice of Ryat), you’ve probably spent the last 18 months waiting patiently to find out whether the rest of the album would live up to the early promise. Brilliantly, it does. The gentle, warm, opener Postpartum sets the tone: undulating electronic soul, beats that are somehow blunted and razor-sharp, and Taylor McFerrin’s life-affirming vocal style, part Thundercat wail, part Dwele drawl. Like audio origami, McFerrin crafts three-dimensional soul out of flat-pack components, and makes it sound effortless.

Highlights are Florasia, which whispers along the back of your spine, and the aforementioned Place in my Heart, a song with a subtle majesty that no amount of repeated listens can wear away. FlyLo has had a run of outstanding releases on Brainfeeder recently (this coming hot on the heels of Teebs’ Estara). The only downside? These other cats combine jazz aesthetics, soulful melodies, electronic textures and killer hooks in a way that might even surpass the maestro himself.