Essential Soul Food is one of my deepest and most followed playlists (behind Essential Beatles) and I listen to it every morning. The only problem is that R&B and soul is diversifying at an astounding rate, not just in terms of where it’s coming from, but more often in terms of the sounds artists are using to convey feeling — complex, modern feeling. Those sounds of the future don’t always fit with what I think of as the soul that makes up so much of Essential Soul Food, so allow me to present: Modern Soul Food. There will be some overlap as Essential will cover it all, but this playlist is built to highlight the depth and variety of fresh and innovative music with soul released in the last few years, today, and beyond.
So far it features mostly new releases from James Blake and Drake (and his OVO friends) alongside recent work from rising artists I enjoy like Gallant, Terrace Martin, Yuna, and Nao. I don’t think classic soul sounds will be going away anytime soon (see: Leon Bridges), but the tracks here represent the kind of soul we’ll be hearing more of going forward and I’m excited to continue to explore the genre’s evolution. Follow along and if you, like me, want more quality R&B in your life you should follow Essential Soul Food too.