The illustrated cover of Red Envelope, the new four-track EP from Joe Xu, features an Asian lady resplendent by the water’s edge with a tranquil tiger laying across her lap. The woman who calms the beast.
The singer/songwriter/producer’s debut EP does indeed presents a calming sense, softening while it engages.
The first taste of her neo-soul, R&B creations opens with the woozy Roots, where a Chinese voice sample offer insight and homage to her family roots. Joe Xus’ words form a letter of rejection on the ballad No Sorta Thing produced with soulful goodness.
A lift-off track, in the literal and verbal sense, is Rocket Science. This soulful single stands out in this quartet for its harmony, production and lyrical reference to the simple solution of understanding love.
The cloud-soft R&B single – S.W.N.G. offers the only recognizable sense of the far eastern influence and its this enticing intersection that, despite the cover, feels under-explored on the EP. It’s a pathway I, for one, would be keen to hear her explore further.
ESSENTIAL LISTENING. Don’t miss her previous release: Chess Piece.
Enjoyable introduction which engages and delights with calming grace. Killer track - Rocket Science