Alternative R&B: What Does The Sound Of Peace Look Like?

Have you ever heard the sound of peace? It's the sound take you on a heavenly journey of storytelling. It sounds like what comfort feels like. Music can be that: peace when you’re looking for something that can guide you, give you comfort, have you focus on someone else’s story, or all three.

Now you may be thinking, any genre can do this, why Alternative R&B? Alternative R&B can create that space for you when you don’t know where to look. It leaves the door open to juxtaposing sounds coming together to create passionate music.

It’s difficult to make space for some sound or allow yourself to it, especially as the pandemic had made us feel trapped within repetition. The routine/ timeline of a 5 year plan doesn’t exist anymore, as it’s too cloudy to see what tomorrow holds. Spontaneity doesn’t feel attainable because change and the idea of ‘new’ has a time limit. Everything is within reach, there’s just nothing to grasp, but every now and then there are glimpses of hope. Alternative R&B breaks through the patterns and gives you a breath of fresh air.

That is why I would like to honor these specific songs by different artists that have made me feel like the sound of peace is within reach. When escapism through other avenues doesn't work, turn to these three. 

1. Sound of Rainby Solange

This song has you sprawled out in a field at the park with all your friends having a picnic and singing loudly. You feel prepared to overcome the stress that the rain can bring, to learn how to sit with it. It brings a sense of community with the layered vocals in the background, which is a common theme on this album. It doesn’t feel like she’s just speaking to you, individually, but to a community. You feel the love all around.

2. Go All Night, by Kelela

Kelela knows how to entice you with her angelic voice. It’s an intimate and sensual song, but the comfort it brings when you fall asleep is surreal. It’s versatile because you can play it in the car on a night drive or at a party. She talks you through the feeling of the beginning stages of a new relationship. It may sounds intense because of the butterflies she feels throughout her body and the buildup of the beat at the beginning of the song. But it immediately leads to her taking a breath throughout to share her story, and through each breath you feel the relief she feels. You are calm when she is, and that is comforting.

3. Lovely, by Brent Faiyaz

Brent leaves you curious as he searches for peace in the woman he met. The song follows the theme like the others, as he takes you through his journey of layered vocals that make you feel warmth. The eeriness of the sneaky vocals creeping and the softness of his voice, has you feeling loved. The beginning of the song where his harmonies. The guitar, and background vocals saying “it’s alright” feels like you’re in a lullaby.


Written by Christine Noel

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