In a somewhat jaded lens of upbeat dance and distraught heartbroken poetry, Solange’s 2012 release True is a characterization of teenage emotion. She captures through a shadow of the dimly lit passion of the clasping hi-hats, crunching snare hits, and the graceful vocal performance. True was a first grasp on the collection of Solange’s sound that worked its way into what would become one of the most recognized artists in a modern era.
The sister of Beyoncé, Solange has a musical background that was expressed in the way that her sister was able to influence a generation and strike into an industry. Her ability is reflective of the very pop heavy, chord progressions but has a slightly different twist as Solange is more of a laidback, less progressive display of emotion. True opens with “Losing You” where the sampled vocal scream is laid down behind these moonlight lit chords that create this golden glow around Solange. Her vocal style is bright which coincides within this inner darkness behind the instrumentation throughout Trueand makes for a dynamic, but easily approachable network of performance. “We used to kiss all night but now there’s just no use, I don’t know why I fight it, clearly we are through” Solange explains as the instrumentation provides this substantial back layering where she acts as a centerfold of sound.
The vocal layering and actual presentation is a direct influence of creating this almost ethereal tone with a gleaming finish. Solange creates such beauty behind her production and is able to truly capture this sense of understanding and relatable nature behind the transitions from track to track on True.
As “Locked In Closets” starts to form the slithering instrumentation, Solange begins with gentle humming that soothes and eventually leads into her verse. With the work of David Joseph Michael Hynes, or better known professionally by Dev Hynes; Solange is able to form this shift of emotion that cascades throughout True.The way that her sound can be manipulated into multiple waves by transitioning is immaculate and shown well on “Locked In Closets”. The production moves to create these abstract uses of percussion swings, flooding synth chords, and a slight hint to the 80’s-esque electronic instrumentation. The production creates a mood in which Solange can use her glossy voice to protrude out, standing as a singling siren in a sea of sound.
Throughout Truethere are these moments of outstanding glory where Solange proves herself even as a younger artist at the time. She flourishes with the help of Hynes and is able to truly create an amazing first introduction to a lot of first listeners. As her later projects would put her into superstardom, Solange really refined a style and was able to capitalize on her abilities as a prospering artist.