In the early 2000’s, the way of the new century in music was a charge towards electronic music – great D.J. mix compilations were released; “bands” like Zero 7 and Massive Attack made names for themselves – but it was very short-lived.  While I embraced it all just as much as the next person, it really didn’t have a lengthy shelf life – except in summer, for me.  Good commuting music.

But now this pretty terrific duo from, of all places, Nashville, Awas have dropped their debut album that has all the best elements from that electronic wave with some deep soul feel, groove and a lot of warmth.  Singer Ariel Hill has a fluid, melodic voice that gives the songs life and emotion; composer Aaron Howard sculpts it all together and gives the sound a wide space and makes this the best album in the electronic style that I’ve heard in well over a decade.

From the opening beats of “Gotta Let It Go”, the groove is solid; funky without trying too hard – it’s all a natural flow and the use of the double tracked vocals give the song a meatiness and sexiness; “Flavorz” is slower but atmospheric and “Stay A Week Or So”, if I close my eyes for a moment, I can hear while I’m on a beach – a sunny quality permeates the vibe.  Upon first listen, you think “Fireball” is going to go in an Underworld direction, but instead stays slowly groovy and tight and Ms. Hill’s vocals are at their best and as do the other tracks, so too does “Centurion” has a groove and captures a feeling.

I’d love to hear what this duo will come up with next; I know this album is only newly released, but something tells me they have the skills and talents to expand and grow their “thing”.  Which in and of itself would be a groove.


Vibey AF is available now


About the Author

Rob Ross

Rob Ross has been, for good, bad or indifferent, involved in the music industry for over 30 years - first as guitarist/singer/songwriter with The Punch Line, then as freelance journalist, producer and manager to working for independent and major record labels. He resides in Staten Island, New York with his wife and cats; he works out a lot, reads voraciously, loves Big Star and his orange Gretsch. Doesn't that make him neat?

View All Articles