On its 2012 debut EP, D.C.’s Columbia Nights opted for a fluid soul blend, similar to KING, India Arie, and Maxwell. The group’s debut album, In All Things, continues that work; these sounds are equally aquatic and carry a soothing late-night ethos. This scans as R&B, but there’s an understated fusion that makes this something else: Stacked drums give “Now” an international vibe, and “Coming Home”—featuring Northeast resident and Black Milk collaborator AB—rests somewhere between D’Angelo and Prince’s sultry funk hybrid.
Overall, In All Things feels like the realization of 1970s soul, something that feels distinctly vintage and forward-looking while remaining in the present. It’s art in the vein of Sun Ra and Weather Report, boundless music that exists beyond perception or genre. Artists like Kendrick Lamar, Kamasi Washington, and Thundercat have proven there’s a national palate for esoteric tunes. In All Things is a peaceful solution to the “turn up.” We all need to chill sometimes.