Album review by Mike O’Cull, independent music journalist. www.mikeocull.com
Attxla is a Houston-centered vocalist, songwriter, and producer who is a truly unique artist with a genre-bending sound that hasn’t been heard before. His songs blur the lines between R&B, electronic, pop, and ambient styles, which allows them to exist in a place of spacious longing and deeply emotive moods. His latest release is the full-length album Ebb, which was given to the world in August of 2019 and is available now on all streaming platforms. The record draws influence from artists including Björk, Little Dragon, Sohn, Baths, Sophie, Jon Bellion, Arca, and James Blake but is a fully-original manifestation of Attxla’s artistry and creative life.
“Choose Him” opens the album like a soulfully-whispered bit of self-talk over some gorgeous new-soul guitar chords. The track has a 3 AM loneliness to it that connects directly to listeners’ hearts and Attxla’s smooth, despairing vocals underline the interpersonal conflict of his lyrics. It’s a stunning track that will make you stop and listen to it. “Feel It” is a gentle pop love song with an R&B feel and brilliant modern production. It lives in a positive space that Attxla occupies fully without ever over-singing or disrupting the ethereal beauty the cut creates. He seems to put a lot of personal, human experience into the songs presented on Ebb and it gives this and the rest of the album a realness most current artists can’t touch.
“Like I Do” features Attxla teaming up with Kenner Wells for another ambient, funky late-night R&B gem that shifts rhythmic gears and dynamic levels in a deliciously unpredictable way that makes every line of the song strong and compelling. “Abyssal Plain” blends slick R&B, hip-hop, and dissonant electronics into another dark masterpiece about a lover who continually pushes away. There’s nothing typical about this track at all and it shows just how far into his own world Attxla is willing to take us. Other must-hear songs on Ebb include “Anneal,” “Deep Sea,” and “Sway.”
Attxla is clearly a groundbreaking and innovative emerging artist with a style likely to turn the heads of everyone who hears it. His words and sounds pull you ever farther into his sonic universe and make you want to stay there. Ebb is a superbly-executed effort that will undoubtedly bring Attxla to worldwide acclaim. You should start listening tonight.
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