Every now and again you get a submission from an indie artist that really impresses you. Zri (pronounced Zuu-ree) is an alternative R&B artist who released his debut EP, Ambedo, earlier this year. The thing I love most about alternative music of any genre is that the artist can push the envelope in terms of their creativity. Let's start with the title, 'Ambedo'. A quick google search will tell you that ambedo is the tendency to reflect and absorb. This is important to note because without knowing that, the EP won't make sense. The EP is very indie in its construction and features a mix of warping elements that make you feel an intense sense of emotion. The intro to the EP 'Holy Water', is an example of what I'm talking about. 'Better Days' features a more stripped-back production and allows for Zri's unique vocal delivery, especially the backup vocals, to stand out. Petals, who is featured on this song, has one of the most angelic voices I have heard in a while and she brings in a very nice contrast to the song.
I think that the highlights of this EP are by far 'Nubian Queen' and 'Insecure(interlude)'. 'Nubian Queen' has the groove of a boom-bap rap song mixed in with alternative afro-pop. Zri sounds the most comfortable on 'Nubian Queen' and it has some single quality to it. The final song on the EP, 'Insecure(Interlude)', is a personal favourite. I feel like the production he went on for this song goes well with his 'slightly off' vocals. Overall this EP is only the beginning of what Zri has to offer and he has a very high ceiling as an artist because he has a willingness to experiment and push the boundaries of what can be considered alternative R&B.