Exploding out of the European pop scene and onto American shores is Paris’ electrifyingly cool Edenn, whose new single Thinking has got critics and fans of trending new R&B buzzing with excitement. It’s certainly been a long road for this artist from humble beginnings to now reaching an audience on the international level, but in Thinking, he proves that not only has he grown into his persona, but he’s ready to take his style to the next level for all of the world to enjoy.
Thinking alludes to a certain sensuously dark yet open and freewheeling spirit that reminds me a lot of two artists in particular: Marvin Gaye and Daft Punk.
Like Marvin, you can literally hear his heart when he sings, to the point where I’m convinced he could sing you a recipe for how to make chocolate chip cookies and it would come out sounding like straight gold. He’s genuine in the way he reaches out to you and vividly describes the thoughts and emotions that are rushing through his mind at a seemingly endless rate, and in that he seems vulnerable, approachable even. And then you’ve got his music.
Edenn’s instrumental parts on Thinking are nothing short of European-influenced experimentalism at its finest. I know that a lot of my contemporaries have been trying to convince me that existentialism in music is making a really big comeback right now, even in hip-hop and R&B, but it took listening to this track to really be convinced of how right they’ve been. And to take it even a step further, I think this is a really good direction for those genres, both of which I’ve heard more complaints about in the last two years than on any other front of music.
The most common gripe is that all of the artists sound the same and all of them lack any sort of real, legitimate authenticity. It’s no surprise that even hardcore fans are feeling left out in the cold right now when the establishment in New York and Los Angeles has been completely content with distributing less than organic content for the last, I don’t know, ten or fifteen years. I’ve felt a great deal of pity for people who really care about the future development of rhythm and blues up until now. And it’s because Edenn’s arrived.
While it’s far too soon to determine whether or not he’ll single handedly save R&B from itself, one thing that we can all agree on is that Edenn is making some of the most original and compelling contributions to the genre that we’ve heard in the 2010’s. He’s got my attention, and I for one cannot wait to see where he goes with his work next.