Wesley Joseph eschews conventional categorisation of his musical output, preferring to present his recorded work as projects rather than albums or EPs. Delving into his latest offering Glow, there’s a varied, experimental style permeating the work, suggesting a mixtape-like quality. However, there’s enough here to cohesively tie the material together into an excellently comprehensive body of work.
The London-based songwriter, producer and filmmaker is a magnetic force throughout. Perhaps one of the most impressive elements of this release, aside from the energy ingrained in each of the arrangements, is the impact Joseph makes with a handful of tones. His artistry is assured; his vocal range and delivery is confident and commanding and those rich textures dress each sonic setting with great sophistication. Take the slumberous ‘Light Light’, illuminating its core structure with a beautiful combination of strings, dense beats and bright piano notes, or the trap-fused ‘Cold Summer’ which incorporates just the right level of darkness into the work.
This breadth is expertly expanded upon and maintained by the glimmering keys that set ‘Sugar Dive’ alight and take us to another celestial plain on ‘I Just Know Highs’; a Danger Mouse-esque production coloured with twinkling, celestial motifs. An exceptional centrepiece, the latter effortlessly transports audiences through its spacious arrangement.
There are moments where you cannot help but feel the influence of Frank Ocean in Joseph’s vulnerability in his lyrics and production style. Elsewhere, his infectious melodies hark back to Jai Paul, which is hardly surprising given Joseph’s longstanding collaboration with producer A.K. Paul (Jai’s brother). While those likenesses exist, Joseph has deftly cultivated a style all his own, which is destined to flourish.
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