It goes without saying, 2020 has been one of the most hectic years our generation has experienced. A year crowded with uncertainty, change and angst, it’s been near claustrophobic at times, never allowing a moment to breathe. However, right in the middle of the summer, amidst the hazy chaos of the year, Liv.e produced one of the richest, most absorbing escapes one could imagine. As well as much needed solace for many, “Couldn’t Wait To Tell You…” provided a soulful glimpse into the essence of the Dallas based artist. The album contained some of the smoothest and most intimate RnB I’ve heard in a long time as Liv.e displays the diverse range of her musical abilities. Responsible for a majority of the work on the album, from the warm production to the stellar vocals, it is a special sonic experience.
Whilst ‘Couldn’t Wait to Tell You…’ can be seen as her ‘breakout’ album, (containing her two biggest hits so far “LazyEaterBetsHerLikeness” and “I been Livin”) Liv.e has been releasing music independently for more than 3 years now: her first EP release ‘Frank’ dates back to 2017 via bandcamp. Evident from the diverse, genre-bending sound of CWTTY – a near psychedelic fusion of elements of jazz, funk, hip-hop, r&b and soul – the 22 year old clearly has strong musical aptitude. In an interview with okayplayer, she states:
“I be digging, really. I get put on by my friends a lot. They’ll give you one thing and you can just go off from that one thing. If you really like this one artist, then you can find artists that are like them, or styles that reflect them.”
She cites figureheads such as D’Angelo and Erykah Badu as key influences but also pays homage to more contemporary acts like Knxwledge and Mejiwhan in influencing her producing styles. A clear musical savant, she makes good use of her wide array of influences in creating her own unique musical identity. With CWTTY, for example, she uses her song titles to tell a story, with each one being a response to the call made by the album title.
The raw talent at her disposal combined with a clear passion for music makes Liv.e one of the more exciting young, new artists I’ve come across. Undoubtedly one of my favourite listens so far this year, ‘CWTTY’ proves her ability to transform that talent into a strong, cohesive album. It is clear to see why the 22 year old is slowly garnering significant traction in the music community including from neo-soul icon herself, Erykah Badu.