Harrowgrove's Zero is a psychedelic trip through mainstream R&B - WXPN | Vinyl At Heart

South Jersey-based artist CJ Davis, aka Harrowgrove, has just released a new album. Zero is a chillwave, spacey take on The Weeknd’s psychedelic, electronic R&B. Clocking in at 25 minutes, Harrowgrove’s fourth album is his most brisk, yet he still creates seven distinctly different soundscapes tied together with trippy, sensual production. Zero is a project that exists in the margins, referencing mainstream acts, but remains wholly unique and endlessly engaging.

Pretexting,” the album’s second track, wears its influences on its sleeve. Harrowgrove opens the track by crooning “After hours… how bad do you want me?” as faux-vinyl dust crackles make way for enveloping, dark synth textures. Aside from the reference to The Weeknd’s latest album, the production and vocal delivery are clear nods to the more industrial sonic territory The Weeknd pioneered with his first three mixtapes in the early 2010s.

On the next track, “Quarantine,” Harrowgrove strips away the heavy reverb and opts for a more aggressive, direct rap style. Following in the steps of Future and Young Thug, Harrowgrove’s auto-tuned vocals sing one catchy hook after another, over a rattling trap beat. Harrowgrove’s flexibility as a rapper, singer, and producer is on full display here, and the next track, “Each Collapsing Moment,” synthesizes the psychedelic R&B of “Pretexting” and intense trap of “Quarantine” into something brand new.

“In Through A Window, Pt. 1,” one of Zero‘s highlights, blends a groovy, piercing guitar with Harrowgrove’s reverb’d vocals for a tantalizing, psych-rock track. While it’s the shortest track on the record, it’s also the most sonically interesting. Similar to Yves Tumor’s brilliant Heaven To A Tortured Mind from earlier this year, “In Through A Window, Pt. 1” is a brilliant experiment in neo-psychedelia, showcasing a hard left turn from the rest of the tracks on the record.

Purchase Harrowgrove’s Zerohere, and stream it on Bandcamp below.

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