Struggling to find that new artist to fall in love with? Fear not, our contributor Kess Leung is here with the latest and greatest musical recommendations each week. This edition features Florida-born R&B hotshot R.LUM.R, who’s soulful vocals and glossy beats have taken the genre by storm.
Filling the Jimmy Kimmel Live studio with his falsetto that NPR Music described as ‘no joke’, Reginald Lamar Williams Jr, also known as R.LUM.R is a singer-songwriter specialising in alternative R&B. Previously known under the alias Reggie Williams, and for playing classical guitar, R.LUM.R kickstarted his R&B career through songwriting for established artists. Describing his musical influences as “eclectic”, industry heavyweights including the likes of Radiohead, Fleet Foxes and Sufjan Stevens, to name a few, fill his playlist. Since 2015 however, R.LUM.R has been steadily releasing a plethora of his own music on streaming platforms such as Spotify and Apple Music, with his latest tracks in 2020 being live studio versions of previous album songs.
Stripped to its raw form with minimal instrumental, R.LUM.R’s honey-like vocals are able to shine through
Personally, I do prefer his live studio takes over the versions on the albums. While both are undoubtedly amazing, the quality of his live versions captures the essence of the music more naturally; ridding the track of overdubbing and isolating each layer for more mixing control. In his live studio version of the track ‘Give Me a Reason’, the artist’s voice is simply euphonious. Stripped to its raw form with minimal instrumental, R.LUM.R’s honey-like vocals are able to shine through; creating a warm ambience that allows the listener to relax and simmer down after a long day. “Convince me I’m wrong, give me a reason/ For going along, with my heart beating/ What’s keeping you strong?/What’s keeping you breathing? Where did I go wrong? With my heart beating.” Building up to the chorus with a delicate beat, back-up singers harmonise alongside the singer, seamlessly blending their voices together to produce a melody that compliments each perfectly.
Easy on the ears, this pop-ish track builds to a euphonious high that’s impossible not to move too
Rewinding the tape back to 2017, the track that led me to discover R.LUM.R was dropped. Initially released as a pre-single, “Close Enough” was later dropped as part of the album “After Image”. Easy on the ears, this pop-ish track builds to a euphonious high that’s impossible not to move too. Showcasing absolute control with his voice, R.LUM.R effortlessly channels a more mellow tone during the bridge which flows smoothly into an upbeat chorus. “You come, you go. Whenever you please, whenever you need to/ You stay ‘cause you know it’s hard for me to disagree with you.” Though it may be due to the nostalgic factor that accompanies the song, with it being the first track that I ever listened to from R.LUM.R, I never fail to find myself vibing along to the electronic pop track. This prompts me to call it my favourite song of his without hesitation. But one thing’s for sure, this is a song designed for the repeat button.
Brooding over a love, the singer again flaunts his rich and mellifluous voice, hitting high notes with stunning ease
R.LUM.R is perhaps best known for his single “Frustrated”, which was released in 2016 and has since accumulated over 53 million streams on Spotify. The track appeared alongside “Close Enough” on the 2017 album “After Image”. Brooding over a love, the singer again flaunts his rich and mellifluous voice, hitting high notes with stunning ease and dancing smoothly through his falsetto range. “I’m not alright right now, I’m having trouble seeing you for what you do”, he sings, “I’m not alright, worn down from make believing that you love me too. Frustrated, over you. Frustrated, I’m a fool. Frustrated, over you. Frustrated, I’m a fool.”
With a talent capable of touching the souls of many, I can’t help but wonder what R.LUM.R will release next. After hearing his live studio tracks I am definitely anticipating an acoustic album of sorts. After all, his voice really does shine on its own. With that being said, I look forward to whatever he chooses to drop, knowing that it will be a pleasant experience upon first listen and beyond.
Article image courtesy of @rlumrmusic via Instagram.
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