You enter the Gloom Room, one of the most beloved and trendy music venues this side of the Andromeda galaxy. A heavy fog pumps through the chamber and clouds all the feet in the space. Mechanical arms protrude from the walls, still and grasping instruments of all sizes, shapes, and origins. It’s unusually dark, with only a few twinkling lights on the ceiling like tiny holes in black paper. Two women take the stage, and the arms come to life . . .
What could be better than grooving in space? EarthEE is the newest full-length from Seattle vocal duo THEESatisfaction, made up of rapper Stasia “Stas” Irons and singer Catherine “Cat” Harris-White. Take all the best elements of r&b (sweet-like-molasses rhythms and melodies), hip-hop (deep, potent lyrics and trunk-rattling beats), and soul (soaring vocal performances), and stuff ’em in a rocket. Welcome to this record.
Potentially the most alluring aspect of this album is its stream-of-consciousness element. These songs were made by two highly seasoned artists; so experienced, in fact, that they don’t even need to conceptualize things like lyrics or melody prior to hitting the record button. These strange-but-satisfying progressions and off-the-cuff vocals give the release an alien vibe that still manages to maintain pleasant familiarity.
These are more akin to compact rituals rather than traditional songs. The foundational beats are always introduced early on, taking hold of the listener’s pulse. Cat and Stas then proceed to braid their voices together in cascades of melody that breathe innovation and brilliance. It’s more than a great record; it’s a smart record, too. If you’re seeking intelligently-conceptualized soul music, this album is for you.
– stasi (@stasisphere)