(ChristianCrow by Fujio Emura)

It’s 2015 and the highly produced bedroom artist is no foreign entity – achieving recording qualities and novel sounds that once required a budget and a heavily equipped studio. In addition to the introduction of affordable recording equipment, collaboration has never been easier, thanks to the internet and online audio distribution platforms like Bandcamp and SoundCloud that have in turn spawned their own communities of underground artists whom although rarely meeting face to face, make collaborations possible through back and forth emails and direct messages.

It’s in back alleys like this that Bay Area producer and singer ChristianCrow has been quietly honing his craft since at least 2011. He blends clean percussion with emotive synths, mainly as a backdrop for his voice and inventive vocal melodies, which is possibly the strongest element of his music. The songs are slow, R&B-esque love ballads; they’re not bring-me-downs, they’re uplifting, and make you feel really good. It reminds me of James Blake and Drake, but what do I know.

His latest release, the Mnemonics EP, is born of the SoundCloud universe – a joint effort between Christian and a producer from Moscow whom he met online. He detailed the creative process, writing “We communicated this album through rough, google translated emails and sent .wav files back and forth to each other“.

The difficulties of such a process can be a blessing – constant back and forths are cumbersome and timely, so each artist is forced to work with what they receive, but there’s also the comfort of having all the time you need for your own creativity without the pressure of real time expectations. ‘The Meter’ is my personal favorite, with its falsetto vocals and catchy, rapid fire hook. Listen to the EP for yourself below, and keep an eye out for West Coast tour dates.

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