If you skipped straight to ‘Haunted’ on Beyoncé’s self-titled fourth album, you were greeted with a quick succession of slow-burning and curiously dark tracks from the world’s most famous R’n’B singer. Indeed, most of that album was steeped with a dark drama that was significantly different to her previous efforts and good mainstream R’n’B hasn’t really been the same since. So when hit with Belgian singer Tsar B’s debut effort, you find yourself thinking back to that time when Beyoncé decided it was time to reinvent what it meant to be an R’n’B star.
‘Escalate’ doesn’t hold anything back in terms of ambition. It’s oddly sparse in terms of instrumentation, allowing for Tsar’s powerful vocals to shine through. But there’s also another element of drama added by the Eastern tones in the melody and skittering, echoed drums. It’s a firm statement of intent and one that sets Tsar B out as being as unafraid to experiment in the darker depths as Queen B herself.
Listen to ‘Escalate’ below.