South Carolina-born artist Contour is at the vanguard of an emergent sound that seeks to pay homage to and help reinvent soul music in the 21st century. With Onwards! Contour arrives under London’s Touching Bass imprint to continue pushing the boundaries of modern R&B, presenting a new work of evocative and deeply personal music.
The third Contour release, Onwards! is an album that calls on the past to forge a new musical future. Connecting the dots between present and past in soul music, the album is fundamentally rooted in the past but also very much about moving forward. Across 12 tracks, Contour creates a poetic journey through his history and experience, living in a world where even everyday experiences can be cut with unexpected moments of transcendence.
Throughout the album, the beats are warm, rich and sonorous. Each track serves as a meditative journey through a dreamlike landscape in which ethereal melodies meet deep rhythms. Using field recordings and samples gathered over the years, Contour and co-producers Swarvy and 10.4 Rog transform them into lush, rich soundscapes, fusing together hip-hop, jazz, soul and pop music with classical themes and rich melodies.
Thematically, Onwards! is a personal journey of reflection, a chronicle of emotional and spiritual exploration through the lens of media consumption and the music that inspired it. Contour’s lyrics are compelling yet accessible, delivering insight through a voice which is absolutely mesmerizing.
When all is said, Onwards! is a multifaceted work that shows Contour isn’t just a vocalist but an artist with a deep appreciation for the history of black music who is carving out his own space within this rich musical tradition. A sophisticated and soulful collection, it’s also another essential addition to Touching Bass’ already impressive roster.