Ravyn Lenae Infatuates The Music World With Her 'Crush' EP
"Do you like Ravyn Lenae’s ‘Crush’ EP? Y/N." Mark an emphatic check in the Yes box, as Crush is growing our hearts by three sizes. This robust project, produced by The Internet's Steve Lacy, changes things for Ravyn Lenae, a new look at what the Chicago singer is capable of, and maybe her best project yet. Cupid's arrow fired at music fans around the country, those that haven't listened yet have no idea what's coming.
Crush kicks off with Ravyn percussively applying her hummingbird vocals over Steve’s distinctive bass riff on “Sticky”, and it's over. Hearts aflutter, you stand no chance denying the track's impeccable funk. For pre-existing Ravyn fans, "Sticky" lets you know that this isn't going to be your usual Ravyn Lenae project. It’s the best song on the EP, although that's a mildly irrelevant statement since Crush is absurdly good through out. Crush can be seen as Ravyn's first big foray out of local-artistry and into the national music diaspora, her introduction to the world. Leading with “Sticky” strikes new listeners defenseless, with zero chance of clicking pause on moving on to the next item of interest.
The EP continues from “Sticky” with more of Ravyn’s Valentine’s daydreams. There's a heavier focus on guitar from Lacy, defining the following tracks “Closer (2 U)” and “Computer Luv” (the latter which is a duet with Lacy). “Computer Luv” is particularly strong conceptually, putting tangible feelings on the very modern emotions surrounding long distance face-timing and online dating.
Following that comes “The Night Song”, a triumph of evening affirmation, demonstrating the strength of self-love. It’s important to have a crush on yourself, too. Ravyn’s cadence on the frequently returning hook irresistible.
The project closes out perfectly on “4 Leaf Clover”, another duet with Steve, low-key but with gravity. Really, it's that approach to sound that defines the Crush EP. to When Ravyn sings “I’m looking through the window for a breeze / Don’t think I cannot be your centerpiece” her words cut through the whole project, the center of your universe for that moment.
Crush is amazing, a timeless bit of music that still feels completely of the boundary-pushing 2018 moment. The EP poses an interesting question - aesthetically, is this a diversion or a new direction? Ravyn has three projects under her belt, is 19 and still at the very beginning of her career. Moon Shoes and Midnight Moonlight both had featured the Zero Fatigue rhythms of Monte Booker, whose touch is wonderfully discombobulating. When producing for Ravyn he mellowed that out a bit, skittish and airy for her vocals to float over.
But the warm, molasses funk of Crush that Lacy spins is intoxicating. Her light vocals take flight, and the weight of Lacy’s production help Ravyn land with more impact. Parallel to this new sound with the release of Crush, Ravyn's buzz keeps picking up. Her own Spotify playlist, appearances on MTV's TRL, a feature in Vogue and more. Whatever direction she takes this, it's clear Crush marks the beginning of the music worlds infatuation with Ravyn Lenae, and the crush is only going to get bigger.