FKJ – Vincent
Multi-instrumentalist Vincent Fenton, more widely known as French Kiwi Juice, or FKJ, is back with another batch of neo-soul delights with his second LP Vincent, a follow-up to his stellar debut studio album of 2017, the self-titled French Kiwi Juice.
The album begins with the single Way Out, which opens with trickling piano keys and the distant call of FKJ’s reverberating vocals. It’s a tranquil and soulful entry, built upon a mesh of jazz tones and distorted, murmuring vocals, and propelled by a piano performance that feels almost improvisational. There is a “live recording” feel around much of the record (at no point does Vincent feel over-produced) that ranges from the muted guitar tones in IHM, where sultry vocals drift amongst looping guitar-licks and gentle piano runs, to the smooth groove of the opening saxophone lines in the hypnotic Once Again I Close My Eyes.
The LP continues with it’s first single, Greener – a guitar-fuelled, Latin-inspired track that sees FKJ enlist guitar hero and rock icon Carlos Santana. The pairing could not be any more perfect, as FKJ (known for his breadth of musical influences, from electronic, soul and jazz) is finely balanced against Santana’s signature fusion of Latin-American jazz and rock rhythms. The result: a smooth track that masterfully blends a concoction of electronic beats, Santana’s distinctive tone and Fenton’s wispy, echoing vocals to form a soulful piece that stands as one of the finest tracks to date from the French virtuoso.
Santana is not the only guest collaborator on this album; FKJ is joined by electronic group Little Dragon, June Marieezy – better known as the unpronounceable artistic moniker ((( O ))) – and indie singer-songwriter Toro y Moi on three further collaborations, the best of which is the dizzying track A Moment of Mystery, which pairs infectious, rattling drum beats and the chime of synthetic keys with Toro y Moi’s shimmering vocals to create a deep funk groove. Can’t Stop is thumping electronic house with scatterings of FJK’s familiar looped guitar-lines, partnered with sharp vocals from Little Dragon’s Yakima Nagano, whilst Brass Necklace, with ((( O ))), is a vocally driven performance with poetic, heartfelt lyrics, pairing sleepy and retro synthetics with the syrupy, saccharine sound of Marieezy’s vocals.
With Vincent, FKJ builds upon the strengths of his previous work, where jazz, soul, electronic, RnB and French house collide and genres are brought together by the heights of the artist’s musical ambition, neatly packaged in his own brand of mellowed-out wooziness. It is a rich, kaleidoscopic experience, and a glistening follow-up album from the Parisian who never fails to touch ground with his influences. Essential summer listening.
Vincent is released on 10th June 2022. For further information or to order the album visit FKJ’s website here. The album is available in Hi-Res on Qobuz and all the major streaming services.
Watch the video for the single Greener (ft. Santana) here: