Roy Woods: Nocturnal

roy woodsRoy Woods
(OVO Sound)

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Roy Woods’ Nocturnal is atmospheric yet concise with chilled-out trap style beats and soft electronic melodies. Lyrically, it ranges from confessional verses about making it big, to cityscapes filled with hook-up culture, complicated non-relationships, and late night Uber rides. The EP opens with “Magic,” a confident and reverberating introduction where Woods completely owns his rising success and hard work or rather “making magic on the daily.” He sings about groupies, not answering calls, envious contemporaries, and starting from the bottom (a quick and obvious nod to Drake), without getting too wordy. Like the lyrics, the instrumentals on “Magic” are bold and to the point, with a strong beat and simple build ups.

On “Chilli Peppers,” the actual Red Hot Chili Peppers references are cheesy and a bit obvious, but guest vocals from Toronto R&B duo Majid Jordan meld perfectly with Woods’ voice. The resulting harmonies keep this track smooth and save it from the fast-forward button.

The downtempo march of “Love You” is characterized by a cavernous beat and minimal instrumentals creating an undeniably smooth track. As the lyrics shift from detachment and ghosting to longing and explicit desires, Woods retains his signature vocal sweetness.

The final track, “Dangerous,” sounds out of place, but is a necessary nod to Caribbean cultures and their influences on Brampton and Toronto artists. It’s also musically reminiscent of tracks like “Only You” and “Not Nice” by PARTYNEXTDOOR (another OVO artist).

Sonically, the aptly named Nocturnal is mood music for driving at night, and the perfect soundtrack to an after party. Rather than showing the growth of Roy Woods as an artist, this EP strives to further establish his signature style, and for such a young and prolific artist, that suits him just fine.

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About Samantha Blackwood

Hi, I'm a Canadian human with an undying love for live music and the works of dead writers. I write music reviews, book reviews, random literature related musings, short fiction, and more.
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