R&B / Soul: Winter 2023

Monarch R&B/Soul Recommendations

Let Yourself Free

Fitz and the Tantrums unveils their highly anticipated new studio album, Let Yourself Free. The 12-track offering is a reflection of different colors and shades. Fitz and the Tantrums does not stay in one pocket on this project. It’s the kind of music that makes you laugh, cry, and dance.


Platinum-certified singer-songwriter Quinn XCII releases his newest project, Common. Teaming up with multi-platinum artist Big Sean, together they rep Detroit, Michigan. From the jump, Common opens up with a soulful piano and a head-nodding beat as horns resound. Quinn XCII launches into a humble hook; then enters Big Sean with a sharp and slick verse. From then on, as a listener, you know you are in for something special with this project.


Thirty-year-old singer-songwriter Sam Smith announces that Gloria is on the way, his first album drop in three years. Smith recruited quite the esteemed line-up of talent to feature on his fourth record. In Sam’s initial album announcement, he wrote, “I am overjoyed to announce that my fourth album is called Gloria. I’m feeling overwhelmed and emotional as I start to let go of Gloria and hand this work over to you. It has been magical in every way to make this piece of music, and by giving this record to you, I am giving you part of my heart and soul,” he affectionately wrote on Instagram.


Blues/rock guitarist, singer, and songwriter Eric Gales, a highly talented vocalist, songwriter, and six-string genius is finally getting his due in the spotlight. With the release of Crown, produced by Joe Bonamassa and Josh Smith, Crown’s is a compelling album with 16 tracks of blues, rock, soul, and funk with Gales’ masterful guitar, warm vocals, and gutsy emotional songs. 

Untitled (God)

The UK-based neo soul collective has deepened their catalog by five, putting out a password-protected file that houses a total of 66 songs. Their cryptic message notes that they’ve shared the albums as an “offering to God,” which further cements the larger truth of this project: We are all God. AIIR features soul-shifting symphonies, and “UNTITLED (God)” can single-handedly baptize a wandering soul, while “Today & Tomorrow” ventures off into more drum- and bass-heavy territory. Each project offers something unique about Sault’s varied abilities, tapping into their multidimensional nature. “11” is the perfect extension of their number series, while “Earth” feels like the merriment of all their gifts in one, featuring a Portuguese track that can move both your body and soul to ecstasy.