Simple as the sun, Slow Dancer shines a little light on Australian r’n’b. Allow your heart strings to get a little tangled in the melted chocolate vocals and original, low key, emotional funk that only Slow Dancer can deliver. Don’t Believe carries all the implications of the album’s title, a theme that has been utilised in all quality soul, hip hop and r’n’b – the imploring lover asking a disconsolate or aloof bae to “turn away from the crowd and the weight on your chest” – trust in me, believe in me, I know it’s hard, but I got what you need, baby.
Filled with self-awareness, maybe a little cockiness, but warm intentions and inflected with sincerity, it’s a song about asking someone to take that chance, despite what the world has to say and it explains a lot about the singer himself, a man carving his own path.
Allow the RnB melted chocolate delish goods, in the form of Slow Dancer’s new single Don’t Believe, nourish your soul. This emotional funk will do you some damn good.
Don’t Believe is a song highlighting his innovative edge – the unusual delivery of phrases unique to him and his style, his assurance and love for a genre that is visceral in the sound he has produced. You can tell when someone loves what they are doing, that passions wires the music itself and makes it go places. This emotional resonance and the relaxed way with which he sings and builds the sonic wall of the song allows us to see that Okely is someone who is confident in what they are doing – not only in love with it and in no hurry to make the music be anything but itself.
Drawing parallels with the work of early 90’s r’n’b flavours such as Mark ‘The Mac’ Morrison, Blackstreet and the immensely popular catchy funk coming out of that period, and the more recent soulfulness of John Legend, Slow Dancer is bringing back r’n’b, it’s best bits and what it used to stand for, to make something new of it. He seems to have an inherent understanding, formed out of his love for the genre since he was a child, of what makes r’n’b and soul what it should be.
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It’s a place where words can be tender and even at times downright dirty, and the music always has to back that up. The progression of the song is delicate and sparse, showcasing his voice and the lyrics, but the beats he used (yes, beats, there’s a bit going on) keep the soundscape from becoming just another erroneous funk song. There’s an old soul stamp on this work and we think we’ll see the introduction of a whole host of new fans to his body of work.
Coming from the more indie-inspired soul-meets-pop of his 2013 singles Too Great and Doesn’t Matter as examples, the artist has seemingly found his niche and then music place he wants to inhabit, where his inspiration will bleed from. It’s exciting to hear that in a singer, and it will be exciting to see where he goes from here. He’s sure to win over a broad cross-section of fans, especially the ladies…and hey, who doesn’t like getting pursued by a handsome boy with a handsome voice? Open your heart and let the croons envelope.