Best R&B: :3lON

Remember that scene in “Back to the Future” where Marty McFly is playing ‘Johnny B. Goode’ and a guy named Marvin Berry calls his cousin, Chuck, to clue him on the “new sound” he’s been looking for? The shitty subtext of that scene aside, it kinda captures how we feel about :3lON (or Elon, if you prefer)—like he’s come to the past to set the path for the future. When unaltered, his ethereal vocals have the traditional beauty you’d expect in any pop song—think Stevie Wonder or Frank Ocean—but he’s not afraid to completely fuck with his own voice using a vocoder, as seen on ‘Transitions.’ The real trick here, the part that makes the songs sound like something fresh, is the production, a blend of samples, synthesizers, and drum machines that engulfs the music and makes it sound almost alien without drowning out that great voice. Been searching for something new and exciting from Baltimore to latch onto? Well listen to this!

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