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Tay Iwar Slows Down The Tempo With New EP Love & Isolation

Emerging from his own self-imposed isolation, Nigerian Alté artist extraordinaire Tay Iwar shows us in this next chapter that slowing down will serve us well venturing into a new post-lockdown world. Coming two years after his debut album ‘GEMINI’, Love & Isolation shows Iwar at his most introspective and marks a turning point in his growth. It’s an enticing project and a chance to get more in touch with ourselves and our lovers.


At just under 13 minutes, Love & Isolation connects the listener with the essence of Tay’s music. Delicate and stripped back, each track is intricately pieced together with the artist’s own personal production and the aid of producers Jeffrey Rashad and insightful (on tracks ‘STONES’ and ‘FEEL’). As well as recruiting a handful of talented soulful voices, each exciting in their own right, Tay Iwar draws us into a trance-like state with this intimate soundtrack.


Track number one, 'YOGA' Ft. Asa gives us an ethereal (and literal) wake up call. Tay sings ‘Sometimes I wanna close my eyes when I wake up in the morning, just a little longer’. The artist echoes a well known feeling that even though there is so much to do beyond his bedroom, fantasy is still often better than reality, especially when you are dreaming about someone you desire. Touching all the right notes, Tay’s verse leads us beautifully into mentor and fellow neo-soul artist Asa’s verse which sees even more layers of echoing vocals and melodic guitar chords. Her renowned raspy and sensual vocals draw us into this smooth opener to the project.


With 'STONES', Tay offers us a passionate duet with singer songwriter Xenia Manasseh, a slow burn masterclass in layering sounds upon soothing sounds.


'FEEL' Ft. Lou Val is certainly the most upbeat track and closest to Tay’s earlier sound with beautiful vocals contributed by Lou Val. It’s a great anchor and interlude between the 4 main songs of the EP and reminds us that afro-beat is one of the foundations of Tay’s signature sound. The only way I can fault it is that it’s too short!


The EP’s fourth track 'THINKING' gives us careful and unique guitar strumming with an almost orchestra like arrangement. Tay’s inner dialogue debating what a deep connection would look like with someone: a best friend, someone who would ride or die for him, physical intimacy, or all of these? He certainly knows how to paint a picture of inner conflict and unrequited love. It’s chorus will have crowds singing ‘need somebody by my side’ well into the night.


An insight into the final track and lead single from the EP ‘PEAKING’ can be found here.


Delighting all our senses, Love & Isolation is an EP with true international appeal, following in the footsteps of other African trailblazers (Wizkid, Burna Boy, Moonchild Sanelly, Mereba) Tay Iwar demonstrates that being alone can be a source of healing and creation.


Photos courtesy of Almass Badat




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