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What is a Qobuzissime? It’s an award presented by Qobuz for a first or second album.

Pop or Reggae, Metal or Classical, Jazz or Blues, no genre is excluded. More often than not the award is presented to a newly discovered artist.

Sometimes it might be a particularly quirky or a crossover album from a discography.

The important aspects are uniqueness, sincerity and quality. We look for these things in the recording, the project and the sound identity.





Albums

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R&B - Released January 29, 2021 | Transgressive

Hi-Res Distinctions 4F de Télérama - Qobuzissime
The voice of a generation. We pinned it to Bob Dylan who didn't want to hear about it... Anaïs Oluwatoyin Estelle Marinho alias Arlo Parks reacted in the same way when we labelled her the spokesperson of Generation Z (those born between 1997 and 2010) after Super Sad Generation, her 2019 EP. Once we move on from this marketing punchline, we can begin to savour Collapsed in Sunbeams, a brilliant debut album that slaloms between R'n'B, light pop and neo trip hop. This is without doubt the deepest record of early 2021... Before writing songs, the Londoner of Chadian, French and Nigerian origin mainly wrote poetry. A big fan of Sylvia Plath, Ginsberg and Nabokov, she was quickly drawn into writing, telling stories (often her own) even before setting them to music. With its title plucked from the pages of Zadie Smith's novel, On Beauty, Collapsed in Sunbeams emphasises Parks' literary passion, which she has now completely turned to music. She tackles break-up (Caroline), unrequited love (Eugene) and addiction (Hurt) with finesse and acuity. Her bittersweet melodies confront often melancholic, sometimes sad lyrics with natural pop energy and a hypnotic voice reminiscent of Martina Topley-Bird (Tricky's ex-girlfriend), Lily Allen (a fan) or Jorja Smith. At only 20 years old, Arlo Parks is the flavor of the month and is likely to be in the limelight for many years to come. A true revelation. © Marc Zisman/Qobuz
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R&B - Released October 2, 2020 | Haliblue Records

Hi-Res Distinctions Qobuzissime
With Goldress, their first EP released in February 2020, Alban and Yvan, under the alias YellowStraps, had already set the bar high. On the album cover they posed like well-behaved school children, standing upright, heads draped in gold satin. The eight tracks of the well-conceived neo-soul record were full to the brim and echoed the likes of Maverick Sabre, Daniel Caesar and even King Krule. Such maturity at such a young age is rare! But it is important to note that the two brothers, who grew up in Uganda before moving to Belgium, had been immersed in the Brussels scene for some time, mingling with the likes of Romeo Elvis and producer Le Motel. Inspired by the 2020 lockdown, the duo undertook this new project for which they would produce one piece of music per day and collaborate extensively with other musicians online. The project, entitled Yellockdown Project, is a clear success with 13 tracks featuring guests from all over the musical sphere. From neo-soul to rap, this project allowed the brothers to broaden their musical horizons and open themselves up to future collaborations. The record features the likes of Crayon, Lord Esperanza and Jae Luna. The only difference from their previous record, Goldress, is that here the brothers take the leap to French lyrics on a few tracks, such as Raison, Visage, Frissons and Si Tu Savais. This record is a real gem which highlights YellowStraps' huge potential and puts the Belgian music scene back on the map. © Charlotte Saintoin/Qobuz
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Soul - Released May 10, 2019 | Jagjaguwar

Hi-Res Distinctions Pitchfork: Best New Music - Qobuzissime
What is my purpose? What will come of the legacy of those who have influenced me? And what will I leave behind? These are all the big questions that Jamila Woods asks herself going into her second album suitably named Legacy! Legacy!, a Qobuzissime album! Three years after the release of Heavn, the soul sister from Chicago brings together twelve songs all named after the artists that influenced them. Musicians, painters, writers, activists, poets, they’re all there! And the lucky few are: Betty Davis, Zora Neale Hurston, Nikki Giovanni, Sonia Sanchez, Frida Kahlo, Eartha Kitt, Miles Davis, Muddy Waters, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Sun Ra, Octavia Butler and James Baldwin. There is nothing obvious or didactic here as the young African-American who is ever-so attached to her native Chicago never does out-and-out covers but less subtle “in the style ofs” all while retaining her own distinct style. A poet one day (she acts as artistic director for YCA, a center dedicated to young poets) and a musician the other, she is even a teacher on bank holidays! As the worthy heir of Erykah Badu and Lauryn Hill, all her words are wrapped around ultra-slick grooves with a modernized nu-soul twist. When it comes to features, Jamila Woods helps her local economy by inviting along friends that, for the most part, come from the underground scene of the Windy City: the trumpetist Nico Segal, MC Saba, Nitty Scott, theMIND, Jasminfire. Chance the Rapper’s protégé has mixed intelligence and class, commitment, enjoyment and groove into 49 minutes. Perfect. © Marc Zisman/Qobuz
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Soul - Released January 25, 2019 | Decca (UMO)

Hi-Res Distinctions Qobuzissime
XamVolo’s shape-shifting debut album is stunning. At only 23 years old, the Londoner-turned-Liverpudlian infuses a delicate soul hemmed with jazz and pop in All The Sweetness On The Surface, a mix that was already well distilled in his two previous EPs, Chirality (2016) and A Damn Fine Spectacle (2018). It’s an ingenious record that stretches itself over fifteen diverse tracks. Everything changes, except his warm voice that remains well-attached to his lyrics, which he unfurls nonchalantly. Lose yourself in the voluptuous R&B which is shaped by guitar riffs, distant synths, softened choirs and the heavy tempo on the suave track Lose Love. Enjoy the well-cut jazzy brass of Feels Good, which samples from Thelonious Monk's Thelonious. Succumb to the elegant soul of Old Soul. Behind those round tinted glasses, Samuel Akinlolu Folorunsho has created the perfect neo-Soul setting. © Charlotte Saintoin/Qobuz
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Soul - Released June 19, 2015 | Columbia

Hi-Res Booklet Distinctions Qobuzissime
A simple glance at the album cover and 30 seconds of namesake track 'Coming Home' shows clearly where Leon Bridges is coming from. Following in the footsteps of Otis Redding, Smokey Robinson and especially Sam Cooke, this Texan songwriter of just 25 years is a walking mausoleum erected to the eternal glory of soul music. But Bridges is not just simply 'reminiscent' of these legendary artists, with his first album, released at Columbia, containing original music - truly impressive and instanly timeless material! Tidy compositions, worked and arranged with the same care that brought such success to his illustrious peers from the 1960s... Steamy ballads, sensual blues, and up-tempo gospel all have their parts to play here, as Bridges demonstrates a prowess well beyond his young years in every element of his music, singing divinely and somehow managing to be completely original from first to last. On arrival, Coming Home is a soul record that will take purists back to the heyday of the genre. Impeccable in production, and oozing class - one that will surely please fans far and wide.