Chicago-based artist Piwa might not be a household name just yet, but after a spin of her new EP DEAD ENDS, you'd be hard pressed to understand why. There aren't polished gems like this just floating around the underground everyday, and if there were, then most A&R's would be out of a job. Put simply, DEAD ENDS is an astonishingly complete project that demands your attention.
Mixing hints of afrobeats, alternative R&B, and dark pop into one cohesive style is no easy feat, not to mention finding a tangible artistic direction that sticks with you long after first listen. DEAD ENDS does both these things so masterfully that one has to stop and think if this is some kind of practical joke that a project like this releases to under 10k monthly listeners. Right from the jump with "No Fun", Piwa plays with her exceptional vocal control, flexing her ability to span multiple octaves. Titular track "Dead Ends" is a ponderous track that emphasizes the worldly, nuanced storytelling that the Chicagoan-by way of-Zimbabwe also brings to the table. An aggressive cut that shows its fangs through a raucous percussive instrumental, "Black Footed Cat" is Piwa at her very best, fierce yet restrained.
It's worth restating that projects like this don't pop up everyday in the underground. Piwa is a special kind of artist who can control an instrumental with a palpable ferocity and verve that pops off the track and leaves an indelible mark on the listener.