Check Out The Sultry New Single From A Onetime YouTube Cover Artist From Dallas Who Is Nicely Settling Into A Sound All Her Own.
Welcome to Song of the Day, where we hip you to all the new local releases you should be caring about. By highlighting one new North Texas-sprung tune every week day, our hope is that you’ll find something new to love about the rich and abundant DFW music scene five days a week.
Sara King — “Velvet”
RIYL: Kali Uchis, Daniel Caesar, Lorde
What else you should know: Three years ago, Dallas pop singer-songwriter Sara King first gained online traction when she posted a viral cover of Childish Gambino’s “Redbone,” which has earned more than 1.4 million YouTube views as of writing. Since then, she’s uploaded even more covers of artists to her channel, including tracks from acts such as Khalid, Frank Ocean, Lana Del Ray, Brockhampton, Rex Orange County and her idol Tyler the Creator.
A little less than two years ago, though, she also broke out of the YouTube cover artist mold and began creating music of her own — and the tail-end of last month saw the release of perhaps her most mature single to date, a ballad called “Velvet.”
As you could probably infer from lyrics like “keep your hands on me / I want to feel all your heat” that she sings in a deadpan, breathy vocal style, the song is very much intended to be rather sensual and romantic — something that becomes even more blatantly obvious through additional lyrical passages such as, “don’t you stop it now / I got you under my spell” and the song’s chorus of “let the rain wash our bodies / let the velvet crush softly / let the red do the talking / let the night pass by slowly.”
In an interesting twist, though, the end of the second verse sees a change of mood thanks to lyrics like,” “’cause nothing ever stays / the same and I feel insane / we gotta deal with the constant reminder / that everything must change.”
King obviously wears her alternative R&B influences rather heavily on her sleeve; in this song, she delivers her lyrics over lush, skeletal beats that sound like something one would hear from Billie Eilish. And, as you can see in the music video below, she’s also trying to channel something of a 1940s swing aesthetic — only not in, like, some hokey Gap commercial kinda way.
As she’s consistently proven throughout her young career, King has a knack for setting up expectations only to subvert them.