Over the last decade or so, we have heard the RnB scene fall further and further into the trappings of commercial influence. With so many artists more concerned with chart placement than creating fresh and interesting material, the scene has found itself folded into two camps; those that follow the stream and those that are more interested in pushing the boundaries of their own aesthetic. And after a few years of slow building their reputation, US duo THEY. have firmly found themselves amongst the latter as they return with their heavily-hyped sophomore LP 'The Amanda Tape', a record that oozes atmosphere and romantic intentions.
While the pair have obviously had their flutters with the more mainstream side of their sound, there is something so wonderfully distinct about the direction of 'The Amanda Tape' that it is hard to ignore. Generally taking a smooth and supple acoustic guitar hook and blending it with ambient beats, THEY. have created a style that pays tribute to the more radio-friendly end of the spectrum, but ultimately is about forming their own niche throughout. With a simple yet diverse intention, this new record is a rare delight that packs itself with a breadth of bold and captivating cuts throughout.
It may not be the most groundbreaking album to come along in recent times, but it at least makes the effort to separate itself from the herd and stand proud on its own two feet. THEY. may still be sitting in the cult notoriety side of popularity, but this new full-length could be the catalyst to change all of that for them.