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Ravyn Lenae’s latest EP “Crush” has made waves in the music scene and for good reason. Steve Lacy and Ravyn Lenae—both only 19 years old—have made a new EP which encapsulates the age old problem of love with new nuances in their sound. Leane’s fresh voice with Lacy’s melodic beats and voice meld together seamlessly.

Each song tells its own story, while contributing to the whole EP. “Sticky,” which was first released as a single back in 2017, gave listeners a first taste of the sound of “Crush”. Its funky beats and background vocals add to its hypnotic sound leave you coming back for more. The release of music video for “Sticky” transforms the sound of the song into an aesthetic experience. It features retro colors of deep oranges and blues, glittery bold outfits and dazed and hazy video quality throughout. Paired with the lyrics “spinning round and round,” the camera angles leave you mesmerized.  

The EP continues with tracks featuring Lacy’s vocals and signature beats. The duo’s musical chemistry makes for a track featuring two lovers in a long distance relationship communicating online. Lacy and Lenae’s voices compliment each other—filling the song out while making the longing for their lover much deeper. This song reverbates into real life, capturing the changing dating scene and showing how even with technology to bring us closer together, we’re still left wanting real touch. The void created by the heartbreak of being screens away is filled with Lenae’s wistful voice singing, “Don’t fade away, my love/Inside the space, my love/One click away from you/Don’t fade away.” The song ends with both a hopeful and devastating voicemail:  “Ah, hello Ravyn. I hope you get this message. I hope to see you soon. It’s really cold down here, in London. Been following you for about three years now–I really wanna see you. I hope your tour comes soon.” You hope he’ll see Ravyn soon, but you’re left wondering if he ever does.

The next song called “The Night Song” celebrates womanhood and self-love. Lenae leaves you feeling empowered as she sings, “I wanna be no one but me (no one, no one, no one)/ I’on give a damn ’bout what you say or think/ Don’t wanna be nobody/Ooh I love my body.” With its R&B and funky sound, the song leaves you empowered and wanting to move and party all night. By adding this song to the EP Crush, Lenae celebrates self-love and reminds us you can and should crush on yourself.

The last song on the EP, and my personal favorite, “4 Leaf Clover” features Lacy and Lenae’s vocals going back and forth,  paralleling the focus of the song on a rocky relationship. You can’t help but feel the song strikes a chord. The sound is consistent with the modern R&B sound throughout the EP, leaving you in a nostalgic state of remembering past crushes. The drama surfaces with the first verse when Lenae says “I get jealous and she continues to point out “other girls are calling your phone/Why won’t they leave you alone?” She sings about the limbo stage of a relationship, where you haven’t quite defined the relationship, but know you want one another. The song is filled with moments of fear of commitment, vulnerability, and a yearning to find that perfect 4 Leaf Clover—the boy who won’t make things complicated and will make the love real. And yet Lenae’s finds herself pining for a boy who isn’t ready for everything she has to offer.

Crush shows Lenae’s evolving sound and her ability to articulate the most human experiences of heartache, love, and longing into an EP which makes you hope she drops a full studio album soon. Catch Leane in Brooklyn April 3rd at Baby’s Alright to feel her music in a whole new way.

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Allisen Lichtenstein

Columbia Barnard

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