For the majority of her career, Justine Skye has been tied to labels, which, in her telling, resulted in the slow loss of her creative vision as she disappeared into the system. Her short and sweet six-song EP BARE WITH ME, her first independent release, serves as a reintroduction, awash in possibilities, filtered through the rose-colored lens of romance. As she works through the ups and downs of fear, longing, and bliss, varied flavors of the singer appear: The steelpan-propelled "Bulletproof" explicitly casts a spotlight on her Jamaican background, and songs like the bittersweet "Secrets" and and the simmering "FAV" affirm her propensity for pop-inflected R&B. Vulnerability brews beneath her lyrics as she rides the waves of love and all of its complexity.
With her newfound freedom, Skye finally has full creative control—which means she's lost the safety blanket of a label-designated team of writers and producers but, for the first time, is discovering her own voice. The slow-burning "When You're Ready" is a far cry from the glossy productions of previous releases, but the stripped backdrop, which urges Skye's fluttering voice to the forefront, makes for one of the record's most gorgeous moments and forges new territory for her. In many ways, BARE WITH ME is reflective of transition; love becomes a useful metaphor for what it feels like to leap into the arms of the unknown.