Significant hype surrounds the new wave of R&B artists that have risen to popularity in recent years.  Artists like Frank Ocean and The Weeknd have pushed the genre into unusual territories, and the former’s ability to weave non-traditional storytelling into his songs is incredible.  Basically, the hype surrounding current R&B is unusual, but not unfounded (there’s a reason R. Kelly is headlining Pitchfork Music Festival this year).

Although British musician James Blake is typically classified as a dubstep or electronica artist, I can’t help but notice the similarities in his smooth and soulful style to the aforementioned new pioneers of R&B.  His new song is entitled “Retrograde,” and it was recently debuted on BBC Radio 1.  It’s scheduled to appear on his forthcoming sophomore LP, called Overgrown.

On the track, Blake croons in vocal patterns reminiscent of Bon Iver, but sans auto-tune and layering.  The simple kick drum/clap beat as well as the thundering, swelling bass and the piano-line sound like they could’ve fit in on channe ORANGE. The song has a fuller sound than the more sparse tracks found on his self-titled debut, giving it a catchier, more radio-friendly vibe.  And it’s so damn silky smooth.  Check out the song below.

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