R&B / Soul: Fall 2022

Monarch R&B/Soul Recommendations

Girls Night Out

Babyface has announced a new album, titled Girls’ Night Out, championing a pool of the top female talents in today’s R&B and hip-hop domain. The singer-songwriter-producer on Tuesday revealed that the record, which will feature artists including Ari Lennox, Kehlani, Ella Mai, Queen Naija, Doechii and others, will debut on October 29. The forthcoming project, which follows Babyface’s 2015 album Return of the Tender Lover via Def Jam, will mark the musician’s 11th overall album and his first record since signing with Capitol Records.


With the release of their May debut EP FEARLESS, LE SSERAFIM showed their determination to move forward with unswerving fearlessness in the eyes of the world. ANTIFRAGILE continues this story of LE SSERAFIM. The album depicts the hardships the members have faced during their journey of pursuing their aspiration to rise to the top and embark on a road that hasn’t been taken. The lead single of the EP with the same title is an Afro-Latin style of pop genre with a hard-hitting Latin rhythm. “ANTIFRAGILE” carries a message of accepting hard times as a motivation for growth and reasserting one’s determination to become stronger. The lyrics “Don’t forget my pointe shoes I left behind. What more must be said” are the ones only KAZUHA, who has done ballet for fifteen years, as well as KIM CHAEWON and SAKURA, who have had years of experience prior to LE SSERAFIM in the industry, can sing.

New Unknown

Captain Kirk Douglas might spend his days as the guitarist for one of the most prolific modern hip hop groups around, but the Hundred Watt Heart sound siphons elements from 60’s psychedelic rock and Afrobeat, and more. New Unknown is primed to be a culmination of influences, that uniquely pin Kirk as a front man in his own right. He kicked off this year’s solo endeavors with, “We Can Be One, “which features a wah-pedal drenched funk riff, simmering beat, and boisterous horn section alongside a trippy music video directed by Alexander Fischetti. American Songwriter called the single “soul-shaking,” while WXPN raved “we can be assured [the album is] something to look forward to.” World possibly captured Hundred Watt Heart the best, “Captain Kirk Douglas has never been one to go by the book.”.

Happy Ending

Following a re-emergence in September, Kelela returns with the club-ready new single, “Happy Ending.” Produced by LSDXOXO with additional production from Bambii, the song draws inspiration from the rapture of a club crush and the release after a sexy buildup of tension. The single is accompanied by an Alima Lee and Kelela co-directed video that snapshots black rave culture in New York City. Skillfully straddling the frequencies of R&B and Dance music, Kelela has established herself as an artistic interpolator of music, art and fashion. In 2017, Kelela’s debut album, Take Me Apart, accelerated her inevitable rise to mainstream acclaim in both pop and underground culture. In the years prior, Cut 4 Me (2013) and Hallucinogen (2015) – among her other remix projects and features – cemented her artistry as a leading force in the alternative, underground R&B world. Thoughtfully intermixing elegance, futurism, divinity and sensuality, Kelela’s unique perspective has carved a lane that demonstrates style as both a component of art, and art in and of itself.

Alpha Zulu

Grammy-winning French band Phoenix are thrilled to announce their ew album, entitled Alpha Zulu, set for release on Loyaute/Glassnote Records. Produced by the band themselves, and recorded in Paris’ Musée des Arts Décoratifs, which sits in the Palais du Louvre, Alpha Zuluis everything Phoenix does best: effortlessly catchy melodies married with always-innovative production, resulting in what is destined to be one of 2022’s albums of the year. Indeed, Alpha Zulu – the band’s first album since 2017’s critically acclaimed record Ti Amo – is an immediate reminder of what has made Phoenix one of the most beloved artists of the last two decades, reinforcing the band’s enduring – and continued – influence on pop culture.