THE FLAVR BLUE
NOAH BETHKE (Publicist)
RENEE COTSIS (Publicist)
“Blue Dream, a sativa-dominant hybrid originating in California, has achieved legendary status among West Coast strains.” - Leafly.com
Blue Dream—the sophomore LP from Pacific elites The Flavr Blue—much like its namesake, provides a relaxing high and a subtly invigorating rush. Lead vocalist Hollis with producers/vocalists Lace and Parker triangulate on a sweet spot between pulsing electronic pop, chilled R&B and melodic West Coast hip-hop in their most seamless and collaborative work to date. A sharp cast of on-the-rise guests (Jay Park, VanJess, Sweater Beats, ymtk and The Last Artful, Dodgr) join the ride to make it a front-to-back party-ready delight.
The Flavr Blue has been making a wave with their cool-water pop-electronic R&B since 2012, when the three first tapped into a shared vision that’s since skipped across the country and back. TFB successfully and individually made names for themselves in the competitive Seattle hip-hop sphere during its most fruitful time, before linking up to explore new sounds. Rapper/producer and West Seattle native Parker Joe was active as part of the rap trio State Of The Artist, while recording most of the emerging local scene’s talent as an engineer for hire, whose Slap Crackle Pop studios opened in 2010. Rapper/producer Lace Cadence was a hiphop baby in the grunge era, who cut his teeth in Seattle as part of the Elevated Elements crew, expanded his craft with the Blast Off production team, and got a taste of industry as part of rap group Clockwork (whose Dreamworks debut album, executive produced by DJ Quik, sits shelved.) Renaissance woman Hollis Wong-Wear, spoken word poet and Youth Speaks alum, relocated to Seattle from the Bay Area in 2005 where she added rapping, managing, writing, and political advocacy to her Twitter bio—all before contributing to a Grammy winning, multiplatinum album.
As the Flavr Blue, they were determined to push themselves and test their creative boundaries, composing music at once impulsive and exacting, blurring genre. From electronic trip-hop-- their single “We Can Go Blind” spins in regular rotation on Sirius XM Chill and Starbucks’ global featured playlist-- and their latest, the soulful Love Notes LP which garnered attention from The Fader, Noisey and the Seattle Times, they made their mark locally and nationally, directly supporting artists such as Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, Oddisee, Kiesza, Sylvan Esso and Classixx. But Blue Dream represents The Flavr Blue coming full circle, filtering their vision through their roots, confidently riding out in true West Coast fashion.
To create Blue Dream, Hollis, Lace and Parker dropped that location pin a little farther south than usual, writing and recording the vast majority of the album in a bungalow in Los Feliz, Los Angeles, with engineer and co-writer Teal Douville. Part-time Cali living means sunshine, sure (why else would they put that “Top Down”?), but that LA magic is really in its glowy golden hour, just made for self-reflection (or at least that front-facing camera). “143” finds them riding out in that perfect purple twilight, smoke twirling between words for unsaid. “105 Ride”’s singular live glide is rooftop-ready, built for inspiring views, with you and a select crew. “Fetti and Spaghetti” is both effortless and audacious, a call-to-action in our hectic political climate to stay on your boss shit, while songs like “Simple Love” featuring VanJess and “Picture Perfect” bloom with lush intimacy. The warmth, the possibilities, are palpable; the songcraft and original production throughout is both understated and masterful.
TFB is at both their least bothered and their most focused to date, the sound breezy and polished as a fleet of old schools on Sunday afternoon. As fires burn everywhere, hatred stoking the flames, TFB put their own smoke in the air, a strain more conducive to cooling out and connecting with your peoples, celebrating what we got.