The Needle Drop

Active Child- "Playing House" (ft. How To Dress Well)

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I know I joke around in some of these blog posts about "witch house," and the legitimacy of such labels, but let's get serious and talk about something that I don't post a lot of on this blog: R&B.

Of course, R&B is short for "rhythm & blues," but I'm not talking about this. I'm talking about a style that's evolved into radio pop artists like Beyonce and Usher. But the thing about evolution is that it doesn't stop.

Recently, dozens of underground artists have been taking the sound and experimenting with it in various ways with auto-tune, icy electronics, or even darker lyrics. The good people at this tumblr even amassed a mixtape of thirty-two songs in tribute to this growing scene of "indie R&B" artists. I've reviewed a few artists on the playlist, and let's say I wasn't all that positive.

And even though I'm mildly digging on this new track from Active Child, I still can't say I'm totally sold on the style. It features How To Dress Well on vocals, and features some soulful vocals, dark synths, and an atmosphere so cold I can see my breath in it.

Of course, there's auto-tune on this jam, and loads of vocal effects that make me think of Fever Ray--or even that Planningtorock album I reviewed recently.

The track is "Playing House," and it'll be on Active Child's forthcoming album, "You Are All I See," which will be out via Vagrant on August 23rd.