Rachel Huggins – Keep Dreaming EP

Releasing an immersive fusion of smooth jazz and polished R’n’B rhythms, Rachel Huggins’s Keep Dreaming EP is an eclectic dream of cool tranquillity.

Offering a contrasting assortment of genre, Keep Dreaming’s range in texture and sound keeps your curiosity continuously travelling on an incline. Throughout the EP, echoed undertones of smooth jazz keeps the atmosphere very much familiarised, providing a strong framework within the stylistic dimensions of each tracks individuality. Building upon its notorious sounding framework, the tracklisting switches between cool, new wave jazz and a seamless R’n’B styled production, alternating between decorative riffs of brass, piano, organs, synthesisers, rapping and silky vocal melodies. The variety within the song structures themselves also eradicates the predictability of the typical verse/chorus/verse/chorus structure yet, the flow of the tracks never feel jolty or misplaced.

The Keep Dreaming EP sees Rachel Higgins’s voice effortlessly adapt to each genre explored throughout the music, with delicate vocal inflexions providing the imagery of a smoky jazz bar contrasting with volcanically powerful soulful textures. The sheer capability of Huggins’s voice is by no means discrete- their technical ability is certainly advanced, and the tone it holds is beautifully rich with its smooth jazzy style.

The EPs title track ‘Keep Dreaming’ and ‘FEELS SO GOOD’ focus more towards the cool, new wave style of jazz with Huggins’s unique stamp plastered all over its sound through sax motifs, vocal effects and riffs played on brass and electric organs. Contrasting with the cooler tracks of the EP ‘Opportunity Knocks’ (ft. LyricL) sees alternation between Huggins’s velvety vocal flow and LyricL’s proficiently hard-hitting rap verses weaved amongst a hip-hop and R’n’B influence. The control that both artists display over their voices in the track is completely faultless, complementing the diverse techniques displayed by one another.

Highlighting itself with its darker aura, ‘Do Better’ radiates a more serious atmosphere than its counterparts. Still travelling through R’n’B rhythms with the addition of glossy synths and bass pads, the lyrics delve into the turmoil both our planet and we as a race our facing, underlining how vital it is that we ‘Do Better’.  Penultimate on the track listing, ‘TAKE CONTROL’ fuses funk and old school disco in an upbeat anthem of syncopated bass and vocal lines creating an undeniably hard groove.

Ending with ‘Freeness’, Huggins’s vocals wrap their graceful tone around you one last time. Suitably accompanied by piano, bass and drums in the latter half, the flexibility of the vocals run freely, layering inflections and smooth melodies over the instrumental lines.

The infectious narrative of the EP can be accounted for through many elements- the smooth vocals, the unpredictability of the genres direction, the use of diverse instruments but ultimately, the EP simply just sounds fantastic. The gleaming production over the use of aesthetic sounding melodies and harmonies seriously rounds off the EPs sound in a beautifully adept way. There’s no doubt in my mind that ‘Keep Dreaming’ will prove to be an anthemic soundtrack to all of our summers.