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January 3, 2014 at 11:56 AM

Fly Moon Royalty ‘pop off’ at Neumos in the new year

(Janae Jones)

(Janae Jones)

By Joseph Sutton-Holcomb

Special to the Seattle Times

Fly Moon Royalty. Three common words which, when arranged in this specific order, become memorable.

It’s fortunate that the neo-soul duo that performs under this name is charismatic and sassy enough to live up to the title. Case in point: When asked what her New Year’s resolution was, lead singer Adra Boo simply said, “to pop off.” It wasn’t clear if she was referring to her music or her social life. Hopefully both.

“Unfinished Business,” the group’s new five-song EP, is out locally on Friday, Jan. 3.

It’s infectiously energetic from start to finish. The opener, “Piece of Me,” kicks off with a guitar riff that rivals the intro to Stevie Wonder’s “Superstition,” and keeps bumping all the way through. The strongest cut is the closer, a bouncy party track appropriately titled “The Anthem.”

As with their self-titled debut album, this new EP is mostly electrofunky soul in the vein of Janelle Monáe or Daft Punk’s latest effort, but there is sufficient variety to titillate listeners.

The EP release party, also on Jan. 3, is going down at Neumos. It’s 21 and older , and if you’re of age, this is a premium way to kick off the weekend.   During an interview Sunday, producer/emcee Mike “Action Jackson” Illvester promised that a troupe of back up dancers would join Fly Moon on the stage to help get things popping.  Plus, imminently funky Seatown rap group Fresh Espresso is opening, among   others.

Tickets are $10. For an extra $2, you’ll get a copy of the EP along with the ticket.

You’ll want to wear your dancing shoes to this one. Fly Moon only performs as a two-piece — Boo on vocals, Illvester on beats and keys — but makes a big splash. Boo is dynamite as a frontwoman, and Illvester’s calculated use of preprogrammed tracks coupled with live piano gives their brand of R&B a distinct hip-hop flavor. It’s the best of both worlds: soul music that rap junkies can get low to.

This stripped-down live aesthetic is born from a worry that a set bogged down by a touring band would dilute the chemistry between singer and DJ.

“The sound is always compromised,” Illvester said. “I love seeing live music, but whenever I see a hip-hop show with a live band, 90 percent of the time I don’t feel it as much.”

The only drawback to “Unfinished Business” is that the brief length gets listeners amped up and leaves them hanging after 17 short minutes. Thankfully, Illvester said Fly Moon’s second full-length album is already recorded. Here’s hoping they conclude their business and drop it in 2014.

Joseph Sutton-Holcomb: jsholcomb@gmail.com or @analogmelon

0 Comments | More in R & B/Hip-hop | Topics: Fly Moon Royalty, Neumos

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