Cautious Clay’s debut EP, “Blood Type” released this week, and has our ears ringing with joy.
Blood Type is one of the more powerful debut EPs for a modern R&B/pop act in recent memory. The album flows seamlessly from start to finish, almost as if it were a single song with six pieces. It starts with an enormous, beautiful soundscape with “Silos” and finishes with an emotional story (“Elsewhere”) of grinding to make it in a big city with big expectations. In between, familiar listeners will recognize “Joshua Tree”, “Cold War”, and “Juliet + Caesar” along with the title track, “Blood Type”.
For someone that’s so young, Clay seems to also bring an impressive ability to write songs that touch on the most pressing issues any contemporary mid-20’s person might be feeling. On Blood Type, Clay connects on topics like the balance between relationships and personal goals (Joshua Tree), lessons from failed relationships (Juliet + Caesar), and generational over-reliance on social media (Cold War). Clay’s lyrics are both beautifully poetic and neatly constructed while being wholly relatable.
To back up his vocal and lyrical prowess, Clay’s production skills in Blood Type are as good, or arguably better than any of his other musical talents. While some might criticize the simple two-hit drum beat present in many of the songs on the EP, I enjoy the pureness of the minimalistic percussion that Clay incorporates. With this backseat approach to percussion, Clay’s songs focus primarily on the soundscapes being built around his vocals. The album is thoughtfully composed, each song placed precisely where its impact is most powerful. The art of a well-organized album seems to have been lost in recent years across pop and R&B, but Clay certainly seems to have a veteran’s grasp on building a coherent album in Blood Type that embarks on a journey for anyone fortunate enough to listen.
The remarkable part about Blood Type as a debut EP is how fresh the sound is across the board. It’s been quite a while since a newcomer in pop or R&B was able to carve out an entirely new sound niche, but Cautious Clay’s gospel-inspired electro-soul sound profile is one that will surely attract attention for music fans who are in desperate need of something different.
Blood Type is an easy-to-listen-to EP that at times induces goosebumps, chills, smiles, and a sense of relaxed calm. The beautifully soulful music that Cautious Clay has given us all with Blood Type is infectiously soulful and unique, and it’s time for the world to take notice.