It’s that time of year. The dog days of summer officially behind us as school is back in session and the days are getting a tad bit shorter. Though the summer maybe almost coming to a close, Inglewood, California native SiR is here with his new debut full length Chasing Summer, determined to squeeze every ounce of sunshine out of the remaining September days. SiR made a name for himself, behind the scenes, writing for the likes of Kendrick Lamar, Isaiah Rashad, Jay Rock and more and has come off his last two EPS with this fully realized debut album.
Chasing Summer really has its vibe down. The RnB genre is a constantly changing one and here SiR keeps things extremely interesting and fresh. Kicking off with the single “Hair Down” that features a guest spot from label mate and writing partner Kendrick Lamar. It’s hands down, smooth AF groove is perfect for cruising around as the sunsets on the city and you just want to be enveloped in mood. Lamar’s rapid fire verse is a nice juxtaposition to the rest of the songs wonderfully chill groove. “John Redcorn” follows up fully establishing the vibe set with “Hair Down”. A reverb drenched guitar sits back in the mix as the drums smoothly float over a bubbling bass line. SiR’s laid back vocals wonderfully tie everything together creating the ultimate end of summer feel. “You Can’t Save Me” throws us into a heavily filtered out groove that slowly becomes more and more clear when SiR’s lovingly tracked vocals come through. It’s a heartfelt love song that features some very innovative production keeping the proceedings extremely fresh.
There’s a number of great guests that pop up from track to track on Chasing Summer. Besides Kendrick on “Hair Down”, we are treated to Smino laying down a choppy verse that highlights “LA Lisa”. Kadhja Bonet adds a lovely vocal addition to the silky smooth “New Sky”. “Lucy’s Love” features Lil Wayne bringing some auto tuned verbal heat and the decidedly sweaty “Still Blue” folds a little Jill Scott into the mix. Although there are some major players featured all across the running time of Chasing Summer, the real star manages to remain SiR himself. His voice keeping you immersed in the records golden hour hues and holding all the elements together. With production contributions from Lil Wayne, Kal Banx, Taebeast and Sounwave, Boi-1da, Michael Uzowruru and LordQuest, the record remains surprisingly consistent considering all the cooks in the kitchen. Album highlight “Mood” is a perfect example of how it all can work together. Featuring a stellar turn from vocalist Zacari, it takes all these elements that have popped in and out of the other tracks so far on the record and seamlessly blends them together. A great mix of smooth RnB, hip hop and a hazy island vibe that just works so perfectly.
Chasing Summer couldn’t have come out at a more perfect time. It sets a tone that you can positively sink into. A soundtrack of trying to hold onto that last little bit of sunshine while we have it. It’s a little melancholy, a little hopeful and overall very romantic. SiR has emerged from behind the scenes, to in front of the mic, as a solid talent and one that will be soundtracking all our seasons nights for a long time to come.
review by Adam Fink