The steady vocal presence of Maxx Owa hits a new peak on his recent EP Crescendo. After dropping his debut album XXO in 2020, the Inland Empire, CA-based artist has put all his energy into building and refining his sound. After bursting onto industry radars with his stellar 2019 collaboration with GASHI, his career has maintained a thoroughly defined and independent direction. Uniquely personal in his music, Owa blends a defiant alt-R&B sound with hip-hop production that fills a familiar niche in the world of alt-R&B fans.
Crescendo is a collection of previously unreleased music that comes "from the vault." Dating back to 2018, Owa wanted to tell the story of a lovelorn past through the EP's Valentine's Day release. Songs like the Mihji Grey-produced "Soul Seeing" and the Dean Vision production on "Loveland" almost provide the House of Balloons-era Weeknd production that so much modern R&B lacks. Consistently spacious drum tracks and smoky melodic arrangements create a stellar sonic playground for the crooning of Owa to define the listening experience of the EP. The final and most recently created song "Rose Petals" functions as the coldest and most definitively speaker-friendly sound on the project, a rousing ending to the care package of tracks.
Existing as somewhat of an appetizer for fans for another project later this year, Crescendo does its job at supplying supremely delicate lyricism over easily accessible production. Never one to rest on his laurels, Maxx Owa's next project will be sure to build upon the foundations he has established and continue to define his signature sound.