Earlier this week, emerging English R&B artist Althea released a new EP called Cold Thoughts, and it deserves a lot of attention. The six-song record features a selection of excellent progressive R&B tracks the deal with the emotionally harrowing fallout of a breakup. Over a collection of minimalist trip hop like soundscapes, Althea does an in-depth exploration of the grief that follows the abrupt end of a relationship. There’s flashes anger (“Act Up”), denial (“Feelings”), depression (“Deserve”) bargaining (“Over You,”) and if not acceptance, then at least an expression of hope for the future (“Same Dream”).
While Cold Thoughts’ six songs have a sound-alike quality to them, that sameness gives the record a palpable sense of intimacy and cohesion. That way, the record’s rawness makes it feel like reading someone’s diary, with all of deepest thoughts and innermost feelings laid bare. However, the record’s lively beats, created by Althea and producer and British Academy Of New Music grad Lone Wolf, keep things from feeling too dour. In fact, the EP is very much in the grand tradition of classic R&B albums that somehow make visceral emotional turmoil impenitently listenable. With this EP, Althea has established herself as one of the most interesting artists working within the British R&B scene.
Overall, Cold Thoughts is a deeply relatable and highly enjoyable EP that is ideal listening for anyone struggling with some summertime sadness.
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