Christian Kuria began generating buzz a few years ago as a hip-hop/R&B guitarist. Then he opened his mouth and everything changed. As a singer-songwriter, he hit new career highs in 2019, releasing his EP Yearlong and making his U.S. touring debut supporting Cautious Clay. But with the premiere of his latest project, the EP Borderline, it's looking like this might be his breakthrough year.
Smooth from start to finish, Borderline features seven impeccable alt-R&B tunes, all written by Mr. Kuria and co-produced by the artist and Jack Dine. Whether acknowledging the error of his ways ("Losing You," "Demons"), expressing doubts about a relationship ("Remain," "2015"), praising the love of a supportive woman ("Too Good") or feeling frisky ("Tell Me When"), Christian's voice is exquisitely seductive – a spine-tingling caress that turns us into proverbial putty, especially when paired with melodic arrangements that feel intimate and inviting. It's impossible to pick a favorite among the set, though we have to highlight "Bitter Pill." The soulful downtempo arrangement speaks of working through relationship issues and features a sultry saxophone solo by SoulBounce fave Braxton Cook.
Borderline is all the enticement we need to follow Christian Kuria's path a lot more closely. If you're in the Bay Area on February 21st, catch him performing live at 111 Minna Gallery. The rest of us will just have to be content listening to the album on repeat.