Khalid

R&B artist Khalid released his second studio album just in time for those long-awaited summer road trips to Seattle and Portland. Get your Chacos ready, it’s time to hit the road with “Free Spirit.” 

Born in Georgia, the 21-year-old singer studied singing and musical theater in high school, where he also began writing and recording his own music. He uploaded his work to his Soundcloud account. In 2016, at the ripe age of 18, his first single, “Location,” charted at No. 2 on Billboard’s “Emerging Young Artists.” 

Khalid’s career took off from there. His first studio album, “American Teen,” was released in March 2017, and that same year he won the VMA for best new artist. 

The sound of “Fire City” doesn’t stray too far from the path Khalid has already forged for himself, and he can’t be blamed for that. He’s found a niche among millennials’ Instagram stories and lowkey study sessions. 

The singer turned 21 on Feb. 11, and the song “Twenty One” conveys his worries about the future and with consuming alcohol. “Heaven” is a heartfelt ballad with heavy overtones of death and uncertainty. The album’s lead single, “Talk,” is a lot more upbeat than many of the other 16 tracks on the album. Meanwhile, the second single, titled “Self,” is closer to his normal, softwave style.

Khalid’s lo-fi sound creates an atmosphere of relaxation and his baritone-to-tenor range only adds to the general vibe of “kind of high and very comfortable.” It’s safe to say that Khalid’s sound doesn’t need to find a new direction for a long time, since we all need to have something to calm down with.

★★★★