Chicago R&B wunderkind Ravyn Lenae captures the confusion of love on Crush | Concert Preview | Chicago Reader

Chicago R&B wunderkind Ravyn Lenae captures the confusion of love on Crush 

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click to enlarge Ravyn Lenae

Ravyn Lenae

Jingyu Lin

At 19, Chicago R&B singer and Zero Fatigue member Ravyn Lenae has proven herself a master at crafting odes to love. That’s partially because she’s open about the peculiar perplexities of being enamored with someone. On “Sticky,” the lead single from February’s Crush ­(Atlantic/Three Twenty Three), she sings about the cognitive dissonance brought on by loving an idealized version of a partner whose actions are out of sync with her expectations. As she confronts the confusion and anxiety of such a relationship, she addresses how pangs of romance further complicate matters by convincing people to stay together longer than they should—or otherwise would. Though Lenae couches her work in reality, her music feels unreal; her voice seems to emanate from the heavens, or at least contain the gleaming qualities that have long informed humanity’s visions of celestial bodies. LA producer Steven Lacy (of Odd Future-affiliated R&B group the Internet) lends an earthy quality to the EP, a contrast that serves to highlight Lenae’s beautiful, unearthly sounds.   v

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