There are no shortage of adjectives we could use to describe alt-soul artist Olivier St. Louis. But the one that immediately rolls off the tongue as we celebrate the release of M.O.T.H. (Matters Of The Heartless), his first album in four years, is "worth-the-wait." The DMV native taps fellow Washingtonian Oddisee to serve as producer; simultaneously hearkening back to their partnership for his debut The Mr. Saint Louis EP, while showing how much they continue to evolve and become masters of their craft.
Mr. St. Louis describes his music as "no punches pulled, no compromises, just me," and that's exactly how he begins the album – drippin' funky swank-and-stank all over the place with "Jump The Line." We were privileged to get an exclusive first listen of "Running Wild" last year, but the lively tune somehow manages to sound even better as part of this collection. Oddisee doesn't keep himself confined to the boards, he steps to the mic to drop some intense bars on the reflective track "Confliction." Profound thoughts continue with "All In Love" as Olivier speaks on the importance of relational honesty.
We stan a good jam and "Steady" satisfies our craving by fusing old school funk with jazzy R&B. A bass line that recalls Sly & The Family Stone captivates and dominates on "Serotonin," a laid-back groove that most certainly will not put you to sleep. In fact, it will leave you feeling rather relaxed, despite the sobering reminder that "you ain't in charge." Ironically, or possibly quite on purpose, the album ends with a song entitled "Quit" – a melodic pep talk that will empower you to get up, get out and get something.
Don't let the album title fool you, Olivier St. Louis put his whole heart and soul into this project. And we, in turn, have nothing but love for it. Preview M.O.T.H. (Matters Of The Heartless) below, currently available in both digital and vinyl formats.