Oh, I’ve loved this one for a long while.
Icebird is (was?) the collaboration between producer RJD2 and singer Aaron Livingston (now known as Son Little), both solid musicians in their respective genres, with RJ gaining attention for his evocative, mostly-instrumental sounds and Livingston going from a guest spot on a track with The Roots to gaining traction for his solo efforts in his hometown of Philadelphia. After collaborating together on a song for RJ’s 2010 record The Colossus, the duo discovered that they had chemistry, and together as Icebird, released their debut The Abandoned Lullaby in 2011. It’s a record I’ve put plenty of plays on back on release, originally reviewing it for the hip-hop site KevinNottingham.com (RIP) and getting an awesome opportunity to interview RJD2 himself. But, aside from all that, it’s simply a really solid record. The album is snappy and upbeat for the most part, with Livingston’s sweet vocals gelling well with RJ’s smooth, soul and R&B-inflected tunes. It’s an off-kilter, curious, and a rather fun project, and most definitely an underrated listen.
“Just Love Me” is a highlight from the record for me, one track that remained on my playlist for a while. That tempo and challenging guitar lick makes this one feel fast and loose, and definitely gets my head nodding. It’s one listen which makes me hope that the duo collaborate again one day.