23 January 2018 (released)
29 December 2017
The Nightmare EP is the first in a series of four EPs entitled Dreams of a Songwriter in which Chicago hip-hop artist Colvin explores “the story of my life and the way the world is seen from the viewpoint of a songwriter and Creative.” In this installment, Colvin explores the dark side of the dream with a collection of six songs inspired by the works of Wes Craven, Tales from the Crypt and movies like Insidious. Colvin's approach to beats airs on the side of minimalism with a lot of space left between beats open for interpretation. Colvin is also a choreographer and as is shown in the video for the lead single 'Nightmare', dance is a large consideration when composing beats. Each song has a distinctive, flowing movement.
In the aforementioned opener and title track, Colvin lays down his dark vision for your dreams with a slinky future-pop track. Fast and furious synths are cut in half-time by heavy snaps. He tosses around references to Freddy and vampires leading up to a driving chorus teed up perfectly for a dance sequence. Trembling synths stand alone in the second verse to amp up the tension. The track serves as the general theme for the rest of the album.
'No Way' is a smooth downtempo criticism of pop culture and conformity with a simple, catchy chorus backed with sugary sweet female backups. A definite high point of the album. The album closer 'No Life' begins ominously with 80s horror synths that are enjoying a current revival thanks to Stranger Things. The beat trades off from speedy to grooving back to home base of halftime minimalist while Colvin stretches out vocally.
Colvin's Nightmare EP is an interesting spin on RnB-focussed pop. Like Michael Jackson or Kanye before, the horror template serves as a useful writing touchstone. The songs are well-crafted and tightly produced. For lovers of the genre, Colvin delivers the goods but those looking for something that breaks new ground may be left wanting more.