Erin Buku’s “Lessons In Love” EP is a luminous five track debut introducing the artist’s signature blend of synth heavy hiphop soul, where chunky production by Erin and her collaborators underpins soulful vocals. Though written at a difficult time in the artist’s life, the EP is consistently optimistic, seeking truth and beauty amongst the chaos of life. Texturally, synthesizers and digital drums dominate the musical landscape while rhodes, muted trumpets and electric bass add organic touches. The result is a spacious, uncluttered sound that takes cues from UK broken beat as much as neo soul and will be of particular interest to fans of Cleo Sol, Jorja Smith and Tiana Khasi. Lessons in Love is Erin Buku’s first release on Hopestreet Recordings, available worldwide on Friday June 3rd.
Before the pandemic Erin was living and touring in Europe with her husband and production partner Inkswel and their two young children, DJing and performing as the duo Planetself. The pandemic drove them back to their hometown of Adelaide and in mid 2020, Erin had a close call with cancer which propelled her on a journey of self discovery and, eventually, heartfelt gratitude for the second chance she’d been given. This triggered an incredibly fertile period of writing and creativity and from that Erin’s solo project began, this being only the first taste of that material.
Lessons In Love is almost entirely self produced, but there is definitely some of what the couple describe as ‘additional funk’ by Inkswel, mostly in the drum department. Beyond that there are cameos by UK broken beat legend Kaidi Tatham on synths and rhodes, Sydney’s Sloth on trumpet, Stephen Lane on bass and Nadav Rayman on keys. From the other-worldly Artemus, to the slinky One And Only, dreamy I See The Light and straight-up banger Humble, Lessons In Love is an efficient and effortless record. The fifth and final track is a remix of ‘Humble’ by Kaidi Tatham, rounding out the release nicely.