Three months to the day after his previous Soundcloud upload, S.O. Freestyle, Lovemade collective mastermind Amaru Muru released his latest EP Wine & Dine in collaboration with Lovemade member, Winchester-based vocalist and producer, MCK.
Each track on the tape exuberates suavity - from the first track that samples Michael Jackson’s Lady In My Life, to the finale's instrumental which sounds straight out of an Anderson .Paak album. If there was ever an EP to get you and your lady in the mood, all the while keeping it gangsta, this was it.
The surprise release came on Friday 21st of February, which - considering the dinner date-themed title and artwork - seems to have missed the mark, late by a week from Valentine’s day. But here’s three reasons why this five-track EP was timed perfectly:
1. Valentine’s day is busy
Valentine’s day is always a busy day of the year. It’s busy for waiters, chefs and bartenders who are called in for overtime; it’s busy for singletons who spend the day self-loathing, or instead assemble for a ‘galentines’; and, of course, it’s a busy day for couples who might just be on a ‘wine & dine’ of their own. If anything, giving it a week benefits this EP.
2. Short notice is good
Who really wants to wait around 2 years for a five-track EP? Muru only announced the EP the day before it dropped, so we only had to get through one sleepless night in anticipation of it.
3. Short notice is good
No typo. The same night the EP announcement was made, Southampton cabaret venue The Stage Door publicised that they’d be hosting the Lovemade troupe alongside others including Forbes in a free show on Saturday the 22nd. So, once the EP had dropped, there was only one more sleepless night to get through before those tracks were performed live. Muru and MCK took the stage last of all the acts, ending the set by playing through Wine & Dine from start to finish - a resounding end to the night’s performances.
The opening track, titled You And Me, is an Amaru Muru track featuring Bambo that sets the tone for the rest of the EP. This one was produced by Muru himself, playing a sample of Michael Jackson’s Lady In My Life under a progressive multi-layer drum machine sequence. This is the only Muru produced track on the EP - the following four tracks are produced by MCK.
Following this is Pull Up - not to be confused with Ja$on Trendy’s song of the same title, the video for which was released on new year’s day, as the two are infinitely different. MCK takes control of this one, singing a smoother-than-smooth hook and only leaving room on the track for one short verse from Muru.
Track three comes in the form of an MCK solo-track titled FTW, a slower interval that sees MCK experiment with the meaning of the ‘text speak’ initialism.
This is before kicking things up a gear with Rounds - the penultimate track on the EP - Muru initiating the tune with a catchy hook repeating “Get it wet, beat it up”. After the second hook, MCK knocks on the door of ‘white Chris Brown’ status asking “What time is it? What time is it? Yeah, yeah… it’s the final minute, she’s feeling it, wuh-oh…”. MCK’s smooth-as-butter vocals exhibit not only his range and potential, but shows just how much of an underrated EP this is.
What’s cooler than being cool? Back To Front is ice cold. MCK’s hook “You know how I like it, flip back to front” alongside his own verse make this tune great. Although MCK’s polished vocals in this one would be incomplete without Muru’s Cherry Wine-esque opening verse, it is MCK’s singing and producing input that will ultimately define the sound of this idyllic Lovemade EP.
This is a respectable output from Amaru Muru and dynamic hookman MCK. For any truly smooth operator, Wine & Dine is the must-hear soundtrack of spring 2020.
Click the album artwork below to listen to Muru x MCK - Wine & Dine