Ibeyi - 'Spell 31'

8/10

Ever since twins Lisa-Kaindé and Naomi Díaz aka Ibeyi arrived with their stunning self-titled debut album in 2015, they have always looked to occupy a more atmospheric and intrinsic part of the progressive R&B scene. Largely thanks to their Afro-Cuban and French heritage, they have managed to cultivate a sound that is both distinctive but still fits comfortably within the preconceptions of their chosen direction. And after five years since their sophomore effort 'Ash', they return with another enticing offering on 'Spell 31', which sits as one of their most adventurous records to date.

Throughout their tenure, the R&B side to their sound has been their calling card, but amongst the gems on 'Spell 31', we are treated to a more diverse aesthetic that also sees them borrow from a forward-thinking hip-hop texture. Featuring notable guest performances from the likes of Jorja Smith, Pa Salieu and BERWYN, their newest collection aims to create a far more enigmatic tone than what we have heard from them before. Still exploring new and captivating ideas from start to finish, it has this incredible easygoing feel to it that allows it to really get under your skin and leave a lasting impression.

It has been a longer wait than most would have expected from the duo, but 'Spell 31' sees them return in fine form throughout. Hardly a moment goes by without something captivating coming in, giving it a fresh and head-turning appeal that very few within their realm can produce.

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