Hometown: Montreal, Canada
Lineup: a k u a
For fans of: Empress Of, Santigold, Grimes
Key tracks: ‘Told You So’, ‘Gravity’
See him live: a k u a is yet to announce any UK dates
Connect: Facebook | SoundCloud | Twitter | YouTube
You’d never guess that rising vocalist a k u a ever harboured any doubts over her innate talents. She confesses to spending hours in her bedroom refining her daydreamy rhythmic stance – so far so Montreal right? – but it wasn’t until a chance opportunity performing at a posh hotel bar dispelled the last of her misgivings that she stepped out as a fully-fledged experimental-soul soloist.
Her debut EP, One’s Company, is the product of this newfound – and wholly justified – self-confidence. A five-track sonic banquet featuring previously aired tracks such as the stuttering, bratty ‘Told You So’ and the sombrely sprawling ‘Gravity’, alongside a clutch of new numbers which join the dots between Santigold’s vibrant synthy hip-hop jams and Grimes’s bedroom-bred hypno-pop.
Although stylistically, a k u a’s introverted take on contemporary soul probably drifts closest to Double Denim beatmaker – and Best Fit favourite - Empress Of. The pair both indulge a love of tight-as-hell, multi-layered synthpop jammed with clipped vocal overdubs and boisterous percussion.
There’s even a vaguely tropical essence swaddling the record’s title-track, perhaps it’s her lusciously incanted vocal thrums spread over tribal drums, or maybe it’s the interweaving synth chords and mazy organ drones that afford the track its sticky, sultry feel. We don’t know for certain but it’s leaving us feeling feverishly hot.
Stream the Andy Bauer (Twin Shadow) and Martin Rodriguez-produced One’s Company EP in full below.