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On Namarah’s debut album, Deia, the Philly singer/songwriter emerges as a fearless artist, unafraid to take bold risks. While Namarah is in top form on the more innovative tracks, the entirety of Deia represents a bright future for the fledgling artist, running the gamut from experimental neo-soul to more traditional R&B and soul-influenced cuts.

The best tracks from Deia are those where Namarah is unafraid to push boundaries and experiment with off-kilter production. Namarah’s influences are wide-ranging — her website describes her music as “rock, R&B, pop, gospel, and hip-hop” — and Deia displays a mastery of each of these sounds. “Kollektive” is propelled by a thick bassline set against glitchy beats and distorted synths. Clearly inspired by artists like Kelela and FKA twigs, this track is an edgy amalgamation of R&B, electronica, and trip-hop.

On the other hand, “Fishtank” is a jazzy, soul-forward track, with a vibe that shines as brightly as “Kollektive” glows darkly. The trap-inspired drums have a distinctly swung feel, and the church organ and keyboard-led harmonies create a head-bumping neo-soul groove. Sonically, these two tracks are at opposite ends of the spectrum: “Kollektive” is brooding and dark, while “Fishtank” is soulful and inspiring, yet both tracks are unique and belong distinctly to Namarah.

https://soundcloud.com/namarah/kollektive-1/s-dWiXamcrGl1?in=namarah/sets/deia//s-jHwZi3Ba7Yg

The clear standout from Deia, “Mine,” is is dark and hypnotic, spiritual and sensual, and sounds like nothing else, on the album or otherwise. The song opens with a narration about Genesis over sparse instrumentation, before morphing into a darkly sensual ballad: Namarah sighs in the background, mbira plucks patter softly, strings and gentle drums create a lilting groove. The setting is ethereal and dreamlike, before Namarah’s powerful alto jolts the mix back to reality.

A handful of collaborators hop on Deia to assist Namarah, too. “Supernova” features Brasstracks, the Brooklyn-based pop-soul duo, who’s distinctive, trumpet-forward arrangements provide unparalleled warmth to the funky track. Dan Goode and Sanovia— with whom Namarah dropped “Keep On” in June — also make appearances on a few tracks, including album closer “Hear.”

Listen to Namarah’s Deia below.

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