Songs I Wish Everyone Knew: “Lovers In The Parking Lot” by Solange

Ok, we get it. Beyoncé has a little sister and her name is Solange and she makes music, too; that’s been an establish fact for quite some time now. As artists, they’re in two very different leagues. Beyoncé is clearly the more famous, successful, and awarded of the Knowles sisters, but don’t count Solange out. She has been cranking out acclaimed alternative R&B tunes for a decade now, and she just keeps getting better. Quite frankly, she’s an indie act not necessarily shooting for superstardom, but she’s not living in her sister’s shadow, either. If Beyoncé never existed (as horrible a thought as that is,) and setting aside the debate about whether or not she’d even have a career without her, Solange would still be exactly where she is. This is a notion that I am, personally, very thankful for. Her catalog isn’t super vast at this stage, but what it contains (from ’08 onwards) is stunningly good. Her Sol-Angel & The Hadley St. Dreams album officially (and thankfully) declared Solange as an alternative to the R&B and hip-hop heavy mainstream. Just last year, she took it a step further when she unleashed the True EP, a genius collaboration with Blood Orange’s Dev Hines, who co-wrote and co-produced the tracks with Ms. Knowles. The end result was an achingly flawless collection of seven songs that sent her sliding further down the rabbit hole into “cool, alternative, indie, hipster” R&B-dom, lead by the “perfection incarnate” single “Losing You.” Every one of the tracks off True are worth knowing and indulging in, but for the sake of picking one I wish everyone knew, I have to go with “Lovers In The Parking Lot.” The track, strategically placed smack dab in the middle of the EP, keeps pace with the other tracks, but brings an element of drama to the table. It’s a simple track, pieced together with audible-but-compressed instrumentation that brilliantly makes it almost feel like a demo they had to step away from and say, “don’t touch it! It’s perfect as it is” (which is true.) There’s so much sonic space left open that a sultry, almost menacing atmosphere emerges and easily sucks us in. The track has a throw-back sound, but is by no means an elaborate, tight Earth Wind & Fire-esque piece; it’s stripped of any/all excess. Finally, and most importantly, “Lovers In The Parking Lot” shows off Solange’s dynamic voice without requiring her to belt her face off. “Less is more” is one of the most over-used phrases in music, and is a sentiment that isn’t always true, but in this case, it really does.



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