Brent Faiyaz and Sonder’s sound is like a late night drive: Somber, woozy and more soothing with each shudder of the road beneath you. It’s tracks like “ROLLING STONE” and “LOOSE CHANGE” that make the Maryland-born crooner a god-sent for grandiose R&B, as his sophomore album Wasteland allowed Faiyaz to be more transparent when writing his next chapter(s).
Although the 27-year-old singer revealed he had new music on the way, it arrived off-the-cuff and much sooner than expected. Surprising fans with the Sonder-assisted Too Late To Die Young on Friday (Oct. 21), the 5-track EP packs Wasteland’s cinematic allure into a sample platter of free-flowing ideas.
It all seems seamless for Sonder. The collective, which reconnects following 2021’s “Nobody But You” with Jorja Smith, has been integral to Faiyaz’s sonic roots and celebrity. Producers Atu and DPat’s fragmented, futuristic soundscape anchors Faiyaz’s ability to really sing his raps. Much like Smino, Brent is a singer with rapper intent — delivering another round of contemplative, love-torn anthems on Too Late To Die Young.
The opening track, “Make Me Stay,” details the start of a fight that Faiyaz ends up finishing. Forewarned by spacey keys and whirly ad-libs, he’s feeling blindsided over the “mistakes” his lover thought he made. “You can’t have your way / F**k that shit you think / You can’t make me stay,” he softly sings, melding together the project’s second slow-burning gem, “Mad Riches,” with similar conviction. “If you ain’t one hunnid you can’t sit with us,” he drawls on the simplistic Sonder cut, further alluding to the honesty he and his circle hold to a high standard.
Throughout the EP, there’s a few instances where Faiyaz sneaks in profound wordplay dripped in his angelic, ethereal cadence. “Money ain’t everything if you got it,” he sing-raps on the EP’s cornerstone “Indonesian Fantasies,” continuing the drum-led vibe of the track on the following effort, “Break You Off.” Proving to be a dizzying dreamscape of compacted breaks and atmosperhic vocals, the record’s finale, “Someone New,” showcases the realness Faiyaz displays in his work. While “toxic” on the surface, the reality of it all is that Brent doesn’t want to be forgotten by his lover. “I wanna keep you but you think you’re wasting time,” he hypnotizes over transporting guitar plucks, contemplating what — and who — he’s losing in the moment: Himself or his lover.
If anything is certain, Faiyaz’s grip on R&B only grows stronger with each new project. With Make It Out Alive in view, expect the Lost Kid to make more mogul moves as 2023 approaches.
Listen to ‘Too Late To Die Young’ below!