Tems’s ‘If Orange Was A Place’ Is A Rare Sonic Opportunity To Taste Freedom

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Tems has never adhered to the status quo. In 2017 when she released Mr Rebel and Try Me, the following year, though acclaimed, they were considered as narratives far from her reality. With a stronger presence even beyond Nigeria now, the singer embodies her narratives better and still in the business of creating her own boxes she never fits into, she extends the short summer months with sophomore EP, If Orange Was A Place, a six-track EP with which she nests in a niche where peace, love, freedom, and self-worth come together in whispery narratives, slow-burning like the steady pulse of emotions that churns the sleek, raspy words that make the EP what it is, a rare opportunity to taste the freedom usually accompanied by the lightness of summer.

The earlier released Crazy Tings is one of the only tracks in the EP charged with vim. The general ambiance of the EP is mellow and matches her means and messages to a T. On Found, the track that follows the Guiltybeatz-produced Crazy Tings, Tems shares more than similarities in aura with American singer, Brent Faiyaz, together they find more in common, the crux of this being their desire for freedom. Replay, takes on a different tone from its predecessors, with hints of dancehall, Tems’s occasional breakout into Falsetto, and an overall tropical soundscape, she truly revives summer from years past. Avoid Things is a rare opportunity to exist on the same young adult plane as Tems while Vibe Out, the last track before the expository body of work that is Up Next– a short visual accompnaiment designed to highlight her growth Tems basked in from the beginning of the EP.

In less than three years, Tems has come into her own, finding a place for herself that’s not dependent on mainstream dictates but purely on her talent and passion. If Orange Was A Place is hinged on sweeping but calm and occasionally dense percussions, echoing synths, whispery but malleable vocals, and heavenly harmonies fused by like-minded producers to a project as unique as Tems.


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