Words by: Matthew Griffiths
Tyler, The Creator and Snoh Aalegra might not be the most conventional pairing on paper, but its clearly one that works.
Snoh Aalegra has gifted the world with another album this summer. The third LP from the Iranian-Swedish artist features guest appearances from the likes of No.I.D., The Neptunes, and James Fauntleroy amongst others. The new album, entitled TEMPORARY HIGHS IN THE VIOLET SKIES also contains two tracks made in collaboration with Tyler, The Creator.
The vividly named, “NEON PEACH” is Tyler’s first feature on the track list. It’s a bright, peppy track with a lot of contrast between two artists who compliment one another nicely.
The simple opening melody is somewhat reminiscent of “Feedback” from Kanye West’s seventh album The Life of Pablo, somewhat being the keyword as Tyler takes the production in a whole different direction. In Snoh’s opening part, we hear a squishy, alien bass that cuts through a long, uninterrupted fuzzy synth note decorated with skippy, funky percussion. It’s then in the hook that Tyler decides to soften up the sound with the use of more gentle Rhodes/organ sounds.
Snoh’s voice soars over Tyler’s production smoothly like a hot knife going through R&B butter. It’s an excellent fusion. In Tyler’s verse, the synth gets fuzzy again, and the sound switches between these two energies like hot and cold, smooth and rough. It’s a technique that leaves your ears eager for the hook, and it’s not overdone.
The slower, sultry track “IN THE MOMENT” follows on as their second collaboration on the album. Lyrically, Snoh and Tyler tell the story of a couple getting over an argument.
“I was in the moment/
I ain’t really mean what I said to you/
So put away your pride baby/
We can work it out of you want this to”
The production is rich with warm bass guitar and gentle, somehow organic-sounding synths. Tyler’s rhythmic keys are almost carousel-like in pattern, as if the listener is walking through a 1950s fairground, or dancing a Motown-themed waltz.
Snoh Aalegra hasn’t been shy when it comes to letting us know how much she appreciates Tyler, The Creator. Both on Twitter and also during an interview with Zane Lowe on Apple Music 1, she referred to him as “one of the greats”. She’s also remarked on how working with him didn’t feel like work because of how funny he is, in addition to telling fans how she loves his boldness and versatility. So hopefully this is just the beginning of a fruitful creative relationship between the duo.