Mobley brings a needed infusion of modern R&B to Austin’s music scene. The past few years has witnessed an unexpected return of R&B both in and out of music worlds generally associated with the genre. Musicians from other cities have been experimenting with it for a while now like Los Angeles’s Thundercat and the Internet, and London’s FKA Twigs and Blood Orange. We also saw the return of Soulquarian D’Angelo with his masterpiece Black Messiah back in 2014. Nonetheless, Mobley is far from late to the party, he’s been sculpting his sound for years now, sneaking into his college’s music department to teach himself to play new instruments, composing for stage and television, and touring with groups like Mutemath and Wavves.
Playing with a genre with such a rich history its tempting to reach into the jar of past grooves, but regardless, Mobley has his eyes set far in the future. Behind a voice like electrified butter, the multi-instrumentalist creates cybernetic soul soundscapes with live percussion, electric pianos and guitar–oscillating between earthbound love songs and high-voltage electro body movers. Nothing is off limits for the Austin-based musician. In the same song he can sing about unrequited love among laser guided synthesizer lines and swinging live percussion, and smoothly insert a minimal trap beat into the mix halfway through the track.
Mobley takes inspiration from a lot disparate places, musical or otherwise (he wears a shirt featuring James Baldwin on his press photograph). Furthermore, listening to his meticulous productions, it’s clear he’s a perfectionist. It’s even more apparent from the fact he’s recorded and scrapped two whole albums in pursuit of what will become his full length debut. Thankfully he’s just released a new EP titled Some Other Country, and hinted during his Studio 1A session that a full length is coming–hopefully soon!
Mobley was joined by Alfredo Rios on drums in his Studio 1A performance, check out the session at the bottom of the page. He begins a national tour this summer, experience one of his amazing live performances at Uncle Billy’s in on Sunday, May 15th. Until then, check out his Studio 1A performance at the bottom of the page.