For their Sub Pop debut, Catherine Harris-White and Stasia Irons bring their brand of jazzed hip-hop soul into the hands of a better budget for production after several independent releases. The result makes for an even better sonic introduction to many more listeners for this Seattle-based, pro-black, pro-woman emcee/vocalist duo. Influences of Georgia Anne Muldrow and Zhane are felt instantly, however this is no copy-cat situation. Their almost minimal samples and vocal melodies form unexpected hooks, like the climbing chords under the questioning and unflinching commentary in “Earthseed” and the juicy workout on “Sweat”. Taking their advice from “QueenS”, you must “leave your face at the door, turn off your swag”. This isn’t about the money stacks or artificial music industry “beef”. The release of AwE NaturalE is a unique stamp on hip-hop soul in the year 2012.

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