Emotional Oranges

The Juice, Vol. 1

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Emotional Oranges are a Los Angeles-based duo who present themselves secretively as V and A, short for Kelly Valentina Porter (aka one-time Rostrum signee Vali) and Azad Naficy (aka Azad Right). The singing and songwriting partners debuted their soft-hued, marginally left-of-center R&B in 2018 and continue in the same fashion with this eight-track EP released through Island. Porter and Naficy exchange restrained, conversational leads with fluidity and run hot and cold with one another, from "Break Me Off" to "Don't Hit Me Up Unless You're Drowning." The productions, handled primarily by Naficy with some input from the likes of William Leong and THEY.'s Dante Jones, are uniformly temperate, with an abundance of slinking basslines. "Hold You Back," where Porter cleverly revamps Kelis' hook from Ol' Dirty Bastard's "Got Your Money," samples Drake's "Hold On, We're Going Home" -- an underlying influence on much of what surrounds it. While Porter and Naficy have no shortage of stylistic contemporaries, they're uncontested as a duo and have more chemistry than most one-off pairings in their lane (Daniel Caesar and H.E.R. included).

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