India Shawn and James Fauntleroy aren’t household names, but their work with artists such as Monica, Rihanna, Chris Brown, Diddy-Dirty Money and many others speaks for itself. However, what these two powerhouses crafted while working together on their EP Outer Limits defies their work on the pop charts, B-sides and anything, unfortunately, on the radio. The Outer Limits EP is a genre-bending electro-funk trip through rock, soul, folk and everything else you might find in a random crate at your favorite dive record store. The duo pushes themselves to create music far beyond their usual pop leanings as award-winning songwriters behind the scenes.
More than a year ago, we got a brief sample of what the duo had in store with the first single, “Floating Away.” However, this track, with its classic string arrangements and old school soul sound, was not a sign of things to come. Each song on the EP has its own unique vibe, from the Ron Burgundy-quoting rock anthem “Stay Classy San Diego,” to the strange yet lush folk sound of “Mermaid Song,” to the evolving production of “More or Less.” Of course, that’s the whole point of this project. Ms. Shawn and Mr. Fauntleroy left their proverbial f**ks at the door and went out into the wild blue whatever, forcing their audience to come along for the ride. -- Ken Hamm