Indie R&B Essentials
Whether moody and introspective or bold and thrilling, the songs that best define indie R&B all count as statements of independence. Starting in the early 2000s, a wave of artists broke free of the conventions of R&B with music that furthered the experiments in sound, texture, and groove that began with neo-soul and trip-hop in the ‘90s. Frank Ocean, Solange, and The Weeknd helped forge a stylistically diverse and remarkably elastic sound that incorporated elements of indie rock, IDM, and dub while retaining the emotional intensity that listeners expect of songs born out of heartache, desire, and all the other feelings that fill long dark nights. And however deeply artists like FKA Twigs, Blood Orange, and Kelela may venture into abstract forms and ethereal soundscapes, their songs never fail to connect thanks to their emotional intensity as singers and ingenuity as songwriters.