Machinedrum's most well-known vocal collaborator is Azealia Banks, but lately the producer, born Travis Stewart, has been on more of a subtle, R&B-tinged kick. On his recent track for up-and-comer Rosie Lowe, "Worry Bout Us," he mixed contemplative piano chords with bursts of stuttering juke percussion, providing Lowe an atmosphere that balanced emotional heft and club-ready rhythms.
That collaboration ended up spawning another. Lowe introduced Stewart to the music of her friend Obenewa, showing him a rough draft of the London songstress' track, "Save Me." The song feels very compatible with "Worry Bout Us," Stewart's rapid-fire drums rattling all over a track that simultaneously moves at a patient rate. Obenewa's musings on self-doubt could be confused as confidence due to the sheer power of her voice; while Stewart's production is impressive as always, Obenewa is the real star here, adding her name to the list of rising neo-soul artists to watch. "Save Me" will be part of a forthcoming Obenewa EP on Wunderkind. No details on that yet, but judging from her Soundcloud page alone, it'll be well worth the wait.