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  • Madasa Media

SOMA: Moth


Just as when I first discovered SOMA, Moth has that same bit of something extra in its R&B delivery. SOMA sits on this fringe of R&B that dances next to neo soul, then loses itself in something more akin to the likes of Massive Attack or even something that leans into the softness like Jazzanova or 4Hero.

SOMA continues to push her sonic boundaries to include disparate sound profiles. The sound sometimes errs on the side of surrealism, an uncanny amalgamation of different aspects of R&B (from the more jazz-sharpened neo soul edges of “How It Feel” to the unpredictability of what most refer to as “alternative R&B” in “Moth to a Flame”). With interlude “Wings,” she dives fully into this surrealism, a sound not too dissimilar to an Akira Yamaoka soundscape. This, oddly enough, bleeds effortlessly into the more “traditionally” paced “Floriography.”

In such a small amount of time (fewer than 20 minutes in total), Moth was able to construct an R&B album that doesn’t rely on tropes, rather forces the listener to suspend their disbelief to embrace the more otherworldly aspects of SOMA’s brand of R&B. She ends by showcasing the range of her lovely second soprano. A bit more pop-inspired fare that isn’t unwelcome on an album like this (showing the breadth and pop sensibility of the genre while still relying on the soul of her voice to convey the message). A beautiful piece of work that set the bar high for R&B in 2023.

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