Jesse Boykins III surprised fans with a dope new album, Bartholomew yesterday (Aug. 1). The Brooklyn-based soul singer, who has appeared on tracks with everyone from Vic Mensa, The Foreign Exchange and Theophilus London, is back with a layered release that further cements him as one of the most talented singer/songwriters on the scene.
Among the standouts on the 17-track album is the lead single with Isaiah Rashad “Everybody Shut Up,” a mid-tempo jam with Robert Glasper-esque production and snappy drums anchored by ethereal pianos. Syd (of The Internet) and Willow Smith show up to help out the 31 year-old singer on “Vegetables,” an airy slow jam with staccato drums and calming vocals.
The album also features J * Davey, Dej Loaf, Melanie Fiona and Luke James among others, but even with the features, Boykins is never overpowered– his warm, distinctive vocals define the record. As for the songwriting, Boykins mostly stays on the topic of love and relationships, offering a relatable perspective over soulful production, as illustrated on the standout, “Earth Girls.” And although the album maintains a mellow tempo throughout, it has enough dips and curves to never fall into mundane territory.
This is Boykins’ first release since 2014’s Love Apparatus. Boykins will also be performing live on Revolt TV tonight at 8:30 p.m. EST.
Stream Bartholomew on Soundcloud below.