From the mid-1990s to the early-2000s, neo-soul music ruled the bohemian hip-hop circuit: Lots of underground singers and MCs shied away from the raucous backdrop of yesteryear and embraced a quiet aesthetic of Fender Rhodes and drum taps.
Released last Friday, lowercase letters‘ a-g EP is reminiscent of that sound, as lead vocalist Alphie Starr sings of smoking Black & Mild cigars (“dutchie”), the changing weather (“the season song”), and childish romanticism (“can’t won’t rush”). “I think I’m in love with you, but don’t know what lovers do,” Alphie whispers innocently over an acoustic guitar and simulated rainfall.
Clocking in at just over 20 minutes, a-g barely scratches the surface for lowercase letters, a duo whose light rhythms and sweet nothings will resonate with local incense burners. But while others rely on ear-shattering compositions, the Hyattsville duo is much more discreet in its approach, which works well. Overall, a-g isn’t quite a knockout, but still a solid release with a few standout tracks. Simplicity is good.
Go here to buy the EP or listen to it below.