When polymath artist Wesley Joseph moved to London to study as a filmmaker, he discovered something in city life that demanded to be captured in song, and found a crew of collaborators—including A.K. Paul, Dave Okumu, Joy Orbison, Leon Vynehall, Lexxx, Loyle Carner and his childhood friend Jorja Smith—to help him do it.
The result was his 2021 debut ULTRAMARINE (released on his own imprint EEVILTWINN), a deeply textured collection of avant-R&B and soulful future-pop that stretched from psychedelic ballads to hard hip-hop bars (often in the span of a single track) and crystallized the mood of a young cohort trying to find love and live their dreams while the world is falling apart.
Now the nascent auteur returns with his second album GLOW, eight more songs of love, loss, anxiety, and joy about coming of age at a time of unprecedented change. Showcasing his range across songwriting, performing, and production, GLOW spans a range styles and textures—from the title track’s warm analog synths and cascading vocal harmonies (indebted to the Northern soul records Joseph’s dad played him as a kid), to the nocturnal hedonism of “MONSOON,” to the vintage-soul-meets-UK-garage of “SUGAR DIVE”. On “COLD SUMMER,” Joseph—who still makes films, including many of his own videos—takes on the role of supervillain, rapping over woozy strings and delivering one of the year’s most cinematic listening experiences.