Roxie’s Soul Butterfly – A sultry butterfly crooning at midnight
This month’s first Music Mayhem coverage piece focuses on the Soul Butterfly release by Columbus, Ohio soul singer Roxie. Soul Butterfly is a 7- Track EP in the neo-soul vein, but with a more electrified sound. Well, let’s dig in.
The Ep opens with “Be Your Lover” which showcases Roxie’s lovely soprano with falsetto accents. She sings, “My love is your garden. Time to plant your seed” over soft percussive drums that create a persistent sexy tension. She sings with lyrical and melodic allusions to soul classics of Erykah Badu and then takes the track home crooning “Let me take your cares away, I’ll never make you wait. Will you stay?” “Be your lover is a great opener track to introduce you to her electric soul sound.
“Faded” talks about a love that has her high and hazy. It opens with a male voice chanting of “You got me, you got me, you got me,” to draw the listener in. Roxie sings on and on “I’m so faded off of just one hit of you”. She uses an allusion to Stevie Wonder’s “Rocket Love”, but this song uses a lot of high notes and sounds and by the end of the track it left me wanting smoother pleasing sounds.
“Midnight” shows more production growth and further defines the sound. The beat features a pulsing soft explosion sound effect that is sexy like cosmic clitoris vibrations in the sky. She speaks on fantasies with her “best friend” who was likely a very good BFF indeed, (Knudge, knudge, wink, wink. Hiyooo!) Roxie smoothly intones “Until you get her I’ll be staring at the clock/ Every night around midnight / I’ll be thinking about the last time” telling a story of anticipation, arousal, and longing. As the song carries on it makes you anticipate if the lover will ever arrive. It ends with the song continuing on into fade out. It would’ve been nice to have a descending release of tension, but sometimes love is like that and the longing just keeps aching on and on. If we’re lucky we can get the ache over soft synth keys.
“Somewhere on the moon” feature a groovy stepping bass line into gentle keyboard accents. Roxie sings “wanna give it all to you, you got me somewhere on the moon” reminiscing about a fleeting lover. The vocals of the verses use less falsetto and it just inflected with high backing vocals, a welcomed change from the highs of the previous three tracks. The groove is pushed by the incessant bass. A change in the instrumentation near the end would have created a nice build up.
“Body Voyage” opens with soft piano keys and a tender love poem. “I love you fresh” is a lasting idea. This song supplies some great sweet pillow talk. There is an allusion to SWV’s “Rain”. The track features Michael Frederick Smith and Rae Wallace and the vocals of this song are executed exquisitely. The use of the falsetto here is perfectly timed and really lifts you up to the sky.
“Cancellation” talks about a love affair gone awry and declined. The chorus says “this movie, this concert, this show, is cancelled”. The drums don’t really entrap you in the groove as well as some of the other tracks. The melody isn’t as emphasized as some of the other tracks, but the change in topic is a refreshing change from the longing of the earlier parts of the release.
“Rewind Press Play” is a sexy call to listen all over again as the hypnotic mantra sings “press play rewind/ back to them silk sheets”. Soul Butterfly is a smooth electric hum of an EP that soothes and arouses. It is a smooth tryst through the air in spins and barrel rolls gentle as wings of a butterfly. Roxie is a member of the JazzHop Movement and this work exemplifies elements of their sound. With this electric eclectic EP is void of the sound and solo of an electric guitar which could have added more vibrancies. But who wouldn’t want to rewind back to those silk sheets for another kiss in the midnight?
The Soul Butterfly EP can be purchased at https://soulbutterfly.bandcamp.com/