Album Reviews: Ngan’s Venus and KAYTRANADA’s BUBBA

Ngan and KAYTRANADA deliver some of the best music of 2019.

By Kitty Cheung, Peak Associate

Venus by Ngan

Venus is a groovy neo-soul EP coming from New York singer-songwriter Ngan. After a hiatus from longer projects, Ngan released this second EP following 2014’s Smell the Roses and my oh my, am I glad she’s back. Ngan is smooth, graceful, poetic; this artist is a divine healer and I feel blessed just listening to her satin voice. Throughout Venus, her gorgeous vocals are accompanied by smooth R&B production. “Lonely” is a dangerous sex jam glowing with feminine energy. The verses are dripping with desire and longing. And I hate to spoil, but this EP ends with a bang. While the rest of the five-track ensemble delivers soothingly chill vibes, Venus closes off with “Cherry,” an upbeat love-bop full of sugary metaphors. Every now and again I come across music that speaks directly to my soul. It’s the kind of music where each time I listen, I can’t help but vibe along, especially with the vibrating bass line of “Twilight” featuring Luxiid. If you want to let yourself be carried away by the groovin’, Venus is five tracks of heavenly energy. 



KAYTRANADA, a Montréal-raised producer, has come out with 17 tracks of vibey beats with BUBBA. Collaborating with artists ranging from Kali Uchis to Mick Jenkins, each beat and melody within BUBBA is pulsating and dynamic. My favourite track off the album is “What You Need” with Charlotte Day Wilson. Her soulful voice is backed by vibey and high-tempo production, like R&B meets 80’s synth pop. “Culture” with Teedra Moses also has a pleasant resonance to it. KAYTRANADA complements Moses’s deep, romantic vocals with sounds that are both sudden and lingering. Whether you’re feeling like some high-energy dancing or chill listening, this LP is versatile enough to cater to both the fervour of the club and the intimacy of headphones.