Los Angeles born and bred, singer Evan Mellows views R&B through a dark prism. Though weaned on Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson, and Luther Vandross, aiming to emulate their vocal styles, later musical discoveries influenced his expression:

The somber lyrics by bands like the Smiths, Nirvana and Radiohead gave me a feeling of solidarity, helping me through tough times. Now songwriting has become a way for me to release my dark, pent up thoughts. I hope that my music can create that same feeling of solidarity and inspire people to overcome the bullshit life throws at them.

Slow burning new single “Seven” incorporates elements familiar to the R&B and alt-R&B landscapes in a nuanced, unexpected form, skittering, nervous percussion and electronic atmospherics married with funk guitar on the hook. It’s certainly of a piece with some of Mellows’ Soundcloud contemporaries, but it’s also easy to see how “Seven” could be cut largely from Radiohead’ cloth rather than a Michael Jackson mold (though the King of Pop’s ever-present paranoia creeps all through “Seven”).

An intriguing appetizer for Mellows’ 6/16 at Los Angeles’ Bardot.