The New Orleans based singer-songwriter Abby Diamond got her start singing genuine soul, sensuous and sophisticated, the way it ought to be. But on Down, Down, Deep, her debut self-released solo EP, the 22 year-old vocalist embraces a subtle shift in sound, one that favors electronic rhythmic integrities and brilliant, artificial soundscapes over the organic instrumentation of her previous live performances. The salient, serene and downright sexy four-track EP captures Diamond coming into her own as an artist, realizing the depths of her creative potential. We were pleased to premiere two singles from Down, Down, Deep over the last few months: first the slack, step-wise groove of Froyo Ma‘s “I Live All Alone (Abby Diamond’s Figure Remix)” and then the deconstructed future-funk of “Love to Watch You Leave.” On the EP’s two previously unreleased tracks–smoother, steadier, and slightly more evocative than their predecessors–Abby Diamond introduces a sedate vision of pop-sensible R&B.
“Deep, Deep, Down,” a collaborative effort with New York based artist-musician White Lights (the solo endeavor of singer-songwriter Johnny Shankman), is perhaps the most successful cut on the EP. The two bare, heavily reverberating guitar chords cut through the stillness periodically, waxing and waning against the astral ambiance like low tide on the shoreline. “Follow with your eyes, caught you looking down/ Hit you so you hungry ’til you hit the ground,” sings Diamond, her breathy hooks more inviting than threatening. When Shankman eventually lends his vocals to the mix midway through (“Fall into a swan dive/Get lost for a while/Dying to know what is/There inside”), Together they settle on a particular kind of oceanic sublime that recalls the nebulous ethereality of Vondelpark‘s Seabed LP.
The Froyo Ma-produced closing number, “Lullaby,” is rhythmically engaging in a way that’s tender and, at times, endearing, only further stressed by expressive, wispy vocal phrasings and titillating lyrics like, “Got me here thinking like you could care less/ Give me those eyes like you want me undressed.” The track ends as a lulling denouement; Diamond’s voice trailing off in slow, syncopated grind crackling funk.
Stream Down, Down, Deep in all its grace and glory below.