Left of center R&B artist Gallant first began making (internet) waves a year ago when he dropped his bedroom jam “Open Up.” The track’s throbbing low-end made the track irresistible; his soaring falsetto made it impressive. The next 12 months saw tunes trickle out—like the Jhené Aiko collab “Skipping Stones” released via Red Bull Sound Select and “Weight and Gold.” Each arrived fully formed and meticulously crafted, garnering the singer a bigger, if still underground, audience.
Wednesday, the 23-year-old releases his debut full-length, Ology. And while the set’s skittering beats, hazy atmospherics, and manipulation of drops makes it feel like a deliberate step forward for the genre, it’s impossible to miss that Gallant is a student of greats like Nile Rogers, Seal (with whom he recently shared a stage), and Sade.
To celebrate the release Gallant made EW a playlist of extremely sexy songs, offering a peak into the influences behind his 2016 breakout.