(TIML NEWS) Sometimes all it takes is a sound to conjure the ’90s, and Sonder, the R&B trio composed of vocalist Brent Faiyaz and producers Atu and Dpat, knows this well. The trio’s hypnotizing ballads take the listener back to a time when music had to be bought in a physical store, the Los Angeles Lakers were entering their Kobe Bryant-Shaquille O’Neal dynasty and Beyoncé was still in Destiny’s Child.
Sonder’s members recognize their influences and don’t attempt to downplay them. “We all have our sensibilities,” producer Atu tells NPR, “but at the same time I think one of the reasons we all mess with each other is because we all were ’90s babies with regards to the music we like.”
Searchin” is more Ginuwine than Bryson Tiller (No shots at Bryson though) in spirit, shying away from the hyperactive trap drums that characterize the sound of mainstream R&B today. Instead of relying on complex, double-time hi-hats and chest-kicking 808s, Faiyaz sings in the pocket, accompanied by production that would make Timbaland smile.
The members of Sonder say they see this track not as defining their sound, but rather as indicating one step in the direction they plan on going. “I love the fact that musically we’re all growing at the same time,” Faiyaz tells NPR. “There’s like certain things that we did and certain records that we’ve done and we’re like, ‘All right, we did that. What’s next?’ ”