5 Songs, 15 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Formerly recording under the name White Dress, Arum Rae Valkonen re-emerges in dazzling colors on Warranted Queen. A few years back, she might’ve been mistaken for an understudy to Amy Winehouse—but as this EP makes clear, the Brooklyn-based singer/songwriter has much wider ambitions than treading a strictly retro-soul path. Her husky pipes carry more than a hint of Delta blues, yet also seem compatible with heartland rock and neo-Motown settings. Producer Sanford Livingston takes a freewheeling approach with his studio client in these tracks, blending electronic and organic elements without worrying about musical eras or genres. Arum Rae rises to the occasion with vocal performances that range from the satiny to the rough-hewn, all delivered with a sort of bruised innocence that deepens the impact of the lyrics. The dark club swirl of “2001” lets her deliver a heartbroken lament with a Middle Eastern undercurrent. She shifts into Americana mode for the title track, plunges into distorted blues-rock on “I’m Smoke,” and rides waves of horn-powered R&B on “Something’s Happening to Me.”

EDITORS’ NOTES

Formerly recording under the name White Dress, Arum Rae Valkonen re-emerges in dazzling colors on Warranted Queen. A few years back, she might’ve been mistaken for an understudy to Amy Winehouse—but as this EP makes clear, the Brooklyn-based singer/songwriter has much wider ambitions than treading a strictly retro-soul path. Her husky pipes carry more than a hint of Delta blues, yet also seem compatible with heartland rock and neo-Motown settings. Producer Sanford Livingston takes a freewheeling approach with his studio client in these tracks, blending electronic and organic elements without worrying about musical eras or genres. Arum Rae rises to the occasion with vocal performances that range from the satiny to the rough-hewn, all delivered with a sort of bruised innocence that deepens the impact of the lyrics. The dark club swirl of “2001” lets her deliver a heartbroken lament with a Middle Eastern undercurrent. She shifts into Americana mode for the title track, plunges into distorted blues-rock on “I’m Smoke,” and rides waves of horn-powered R&B on “Something’s Happening to Me.”

TITLE TIME
3:50
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3:31
2:28
2:56

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