Black Sands has dropped a passionate five-track EP giving us a genre-bending taste of R&B meets Pop. Flushed in an experimental tone, Afterglow adds heaps of surprises and flare, with Californian-born Andrew Balfour (aka Black Sands) drawing on darker tones, mixed with influences from contemporary artists such as The Weeknd, Billie Eilish and The 1975. Now based in Amsterdam, his international connections allow Balfour to merge R&B with pop, collaborating with artists including fellow musician Martino.
After the sudden loss of his sister, this EP serves as a release of messages around the process of grief and finding beauty in living in the moment as Balfour explains, “Like many people who go through such a traumatic loss, I didn’t know how to process these complex emotions and talk about it. Music helped me focus that confusion and allowed me to grieve.” Afterglow allows us to witness his development of fusing his darker experimental sounds with his hopeful R&B touch on a wave of echoing synths.
“Frozen” speaks of the loss of his sister and the difficulty in being unable to move on from the unexpected tragedy. The chorus contains a subtle uplifting sense, serving as a reminder of the strong bond between them both. The sad undertones complement the stunning synths, while the melody shows us Balfour’s stunning vocal tones and ability to hit those high notes with ease.
This EP is bursting with emotion and with the knowledge of the lyrical drive, it’s hard to not connect to this artist’s authenticity and ability to remain so raw and honest. The polished delivery results in a totally unique sound, organic to only Black Sands.