Newcomer rx Soul delivers an incredibly diverse EP influenced by Frank Ocean, James Blake, and SZA with his release of In and a Way Out of It. This self-produced EP is just a glimpse at what the Phoenix-based artist is capable of. From upbeat catchy choruses to ambient guitar ballads, In and a Way Out of It is one of those EP’s that has something for every listener. Each song flows flawlessly into the next, unveiling the underlying story about the artist’s frustration with relationships, as well as both financial and mental struggles.
“It was basically me playing out this big “what if” scenario—what if I just ran away with the person I love and denied all my problems? What if we built a makeshift home on the beach somewhere and turned our back on the rest of the world? What if we really believed this were possible? It starts out idyllic and beautiful but then quickly becomes pretty obvious that it wouldn’t work. You’d run out of any money, resources, and energy you had to begin with, and a whole slew of new problems would come to find you. This decline into whatever happens next is what most of the EP focuses on, from about one minute in right up to the end”
The EP starts off hot with rx Soul’s track Spent. His voice, simultaneously raspy and smooth, falls perfectly into the wavy strum of the guitar, R&B drums, and catchy synth lead. It’s practically impossible to withstand the force of the music while listening to this J Dilla-esqe beat. The first track off the EP seamlessly transitions into the second, Here We Are. rx Soul’s production techniques shine through this track, the beats dispersing perfectly through speakers. The hard-hitting drums frame the digitized vocal chop rift and wonky synths, easing into its slow and vibey chorus. Here We Are proves one thing for certain: rx Soul is not new to the art of producing.
“I’ve been writing in some form or another since about age 3. I guess I started producing when I picked up the guitar at around eleven years old, as I’d record extremely eleven-year-old sounding songs and produce them the best I could. But it wasn’t until about five years ago that I got really serious about production, trying to learn as much as possible and constantly challenging myself improve”
Switching it up from the previous two tracks, Keep Us Alive is a funky, upbeat, drum-driven tune that seemingly gets better with each listen. Toward the end of the track, the tone transitions into a smooth and reminiscent-seeming swing that perfectly parallels the intro to the final song of the EP, Moondog. The EP’s outro brings peace to the entire project with its ambient pads, poetic sampling, and exquisite guitar. Rx Soul’s raw vocals and lyrics shine through one last time, leaving you desperately wanting more. Luckily for the obsessive listeners, rx Soul shows no sign of slowing down as he plans on releasing a new single every two weeks.