Mellow good vibes and vocal clarity pour through like a fine wine as Kuffi sets and maintains a lo-fi, intimate mood throughout this new album.
Immediately meeting the calmness and peace implied by the title and artwork, The Butterfly Dream introduces the Kuffi poetic approach in a likable way. The sound is nostalgic yet crisp and cleanly mixed for a contemporary audience. The variety in bars also refreshes in content while drawing comparisons with the hip hop legends of a simpler time.
All of this is Orange, a short yet satisfying opener, but the blissful delicacy and loving sentiments continue throughout a soulfully melodic Closer, and even a faster-paced, uniquely rhythmic and scene-setting Sunshine (featuring a stunning vocal progression from Aja). This third track is a definite highlight for its blending of high-energy and softness, as well as its inspiring story-line.
With Little Doves we get an organic guitar set-up and the vintage crackle of yesteryear, another breathy and hypnotic vocal melody and performance, a kind of soul-pop set-up that washes over like a wave of instant calm.
Kuffi keeps his sound fresh, and reflects on different topics, always poetically and personally – leading with honest emotion and a fearless level of vulnerability as he observes and connects with his world.
The guitar picking and crackle follow on into an uplifting Do You Ever, a poignant track that looks back on the past-self in an eye-opening manner. Then we get a dash of reverb-kissed electric guitar for a stripped back, free-style RnB-led Most High – an addictive melody and decidedly open lyrical backbone; another absolute highlight for its raw passion, pain and power united. An unmissable track, in fact – mighty in content and sound alike. This one takes the project somewhere unexpected, and elevates the experience in a profound way.
Good Intentions keeps the long form RnB melodies at the forefront and delves into the uncertainty and longing of new love. Then Weak feels like a live indie-pop performance, a little James Bay-ish in guitar, back to RnB and hip hop for the melody, auto-tune and hook.
A heavily honest, recorded monologue accompanies an ambient soundscape as Surface brings things to a brilliantly raw, revealing finish. The ego and insecurity of the artist are laid bare in a boldly relatable way, as is talk of self-love and fear within both the creative realm and life itself. An interesting way to end the album, and one that makes you quickly want to revisit all of these songs to hear them in a new, somewhat enlightened fashion.
Kuffi’s natural connection to the artform, his laid-back performance style but passionate way of writing, all makes for a level of authenticity and quiet leadership that welcomes an audience with ease.
Impressive, humble, beautiful, and musically engaging enough to really keep the entire nine-track album interesting every step of the way. An artist with a pleasantly uninhibited sense of artistry and freedom to his work.