A good winter release has a certain upper hand over its warm-weather counterparts. The shorter days and colder air just have a way of making music sound more meaningful, especially when the project in question is as dark and chilly as Roy Woods's new EP, Nocturnal.
The OVO signee is as glossy and lush sounding as ever on this new EP. Production-wise, Nocturnal is full of soundscapes rather than mere beats, with trappy instrumentation that's cold and dreamy, and even some live instruments on tracks like "Four Seasons". Roy is right at home over these types of sounds, laying down incredibly crisp performances, and infusing equal parts swagger and emotion on each track. Slow, aching cuts like "Love You" will inevitably make this December feel a little colder, while charismatic anthems like "Chilli Peppers (feat. Majid Jordan) will warm you right back up.
And, speaking of features: the only other guest appearance we get here is from MadeinTYO on the song "Instinct". While Roy has no problem carrying this EP mostly on his own, the addition of the "Uber Everywhere" rapper is undoubtedly a part of what makes this track one of the album's highlights. Both artists are in peak form here, but MadeinTYO perhaps takes the spotlight by showing off his surprisingly killer vocal chops.
In total, while Nocturnal does have it's share of moments that are better suited for throwing on as mood music on a car ride than they are for active listening, the titular vibes here are undeniably satisfying. With the "OVO sound" becoming more and more played out in today's R&B landscape, it's good to hear that Roy Woods is still pushing the style he helped pioneer forward.