Today, Contour has released two new songs on Bandcamp: “Go Away” and “Sweet Tears”. Both of the songs are covers arranged, performed, and produced by Contour’s Khari Lucas. As always, these two releases showcase Contour’s unique musical ear and style, as well as Khari’s evolving skill as a producer. Both of the tracks have unique cover art designed by Austin Butler, but since we had to pick just one to feature in the article, I went with the art for the song that I like better, which is “Go Away”.
“Go Away” was originally released in 1981 by the Scottish new wave band Strawberry Switchblade. Khari gives the tempo a slight boost here with the help of a drum machine, and even includes some melodic synth, which is something we haven’t heard much of in Contour’s previous releases. That’s mainly why I prefer this one over the “Sweet Tears” cover, because it shows Khari stepping away from his typical deep bass-dominated style of recent years and into a more developed sound, production-wise, that is still completely his own.
“Sweet Tears” is a 1978 track originally released by the influential musician and producer Roy Ayers. With this cover Khari does the opposite and slows it way down, completely transforming the vibe from an upbeat dance track to a slow, moody rumination. Khari’s cover is actually much more in-tune with the lyrics of the song, which are ripe with heartbreak, whereas the Roy Ayers original is more about dancing through the tears.
Today is also the fourth time during the COVID-19 pandemic that Bandcamp has waived its revenue share to support artists affected by the pandemic, which means that artists will receive 100% of revenue from purchases. Contour has opted to donate proceeds from these tracks (today and forever) to non-profit The Black School, an experimental art school teaching art and radical Black history.
Listen to “Go Away” and “Sweet Tears” by Contour below, and consider supporting Contour and The Black School with a purchase.