Solomon Fox: Solomon | ★★★★ | [Self-released; Mar. 11]

The evolution of Gabe Fox-Peck’s creative prowess has been a fascinating journey to watch. First introduced to the local scene as one-third of Durham’s R&B/hip-hop trio Young Bull, Fox-Peck has since received Oscar and Grammy nods for his co-production work on “Stand Up,” from Harriet Tubman biopic Harriet, and for his production work on St. Louis rapper and singer Smino’s latest mixtape, She Already Decided.

But with Solomon, we see Fox-Peck, playing as Solomon Fox, flexing his creative muscles on a project all his own. The result is an evocative record of lovesick R&B tunes.

Solomon is indelibly marked by Fox-Peck’s gospel inspirations. Each track is finely fleshed out with lush harmonies, which add depth to his sparse arrangements. Less is more when it comes to these productions, as full-bodied bass lines help guide simplistic keys and guitar licks, all riding atop a drunken drum beat. This technique allows Fox-Peck’s densely layered vocals to take center stage, showcasing his powerful melodies and playful wordplay.

Tracks like “Home for Summertime” and “Turtle Hole” brim with vivid imagery, eliciting memories of the yearnings of youth and lost loves. Whether he’s singing about chasing the sunrise in big cities or hazy day trips on the Eno River, each song charts a well-wrought narrative. The lyrics string the listener along with anticipation, melding clever rhyme schemes with a legato vocal style that glides with ease.

Solomon feels like a fresh direction for an artist who has already defined himself as a standout in various other projects. Marrying elements of soul, R&B, and gospel, Fox-Peck builds a dreamy palette of sounds. And thanks to his remarkable attention to detail, these tracks are both heavily replayable and immensely fun to unpack.

Solomon is moody enough that it might catch you in your feelings, but this sultry debut always keeps a groove within close reach.

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