Released: November 2020
Jamilah Barry presents ‘Romance Me’ her first multi track project since 2018’s Salix Babylonica. A stream of multi faceted ethereal singles and features have preceded this release, produced by long time collaborator MIDNIGHT PHUNK. I have only seen Jamilah perform once. She was a last minute support for Jerome Thomas at his headline show at the Jazz Cafe after his planned support let him down hours earlier. She wore a gold evening gown, was completely alone on the stage, and was criminally unpretentious. Remember, art is the result of the life and mind of the artist. Jamilah’s vocal is an amalgamation of the demure and dignified - it yearns but never begs. The tone is wildly seductive, but values inviolability above everything else.
Romance Me, in my opinion, sees her at her best since Salix Babylonica’s ‘REFLECTION’ and is exactly what a true R&B project should be - a telling of all the trials, tribulations, and ecstasies of the heart, betrayals included.
In the 4th and final track ‘Merlot’ she makes promises to her lover that no woman so enchanting should ever have to keep, and that any lover would be cruel to hold her to. The production retains the now signature element of a warped 2nd half of the track, deep rubber kicks give way to a swan dive into half time, the vocal now notably lower and haunting as fuck.
Jamilah has been climbing quietly towards her rightful place since 2015, and 2020’s ‘Romance Me’ feels like a whole new beginning.