It's hard to categorize the sound of 23-year-old New Orleans rapper Pell (born Jared Pellerin). The Fader calls it “dream rap,” others call it “cloud rap,” while Pell himself calls it “futuristic soul.” At times, his voice is elastic and versatile like Kendrick Lamar's (such as in “Monday Morning“), but it's also quirky and high-pitched like Chance The Rapper's (such as in “Queso“). Production-wise, he leans toward darker, ambient, and occasionally trap-esque beats, but if you listen closely, you'll hear hints of New Orleans bounce in his tracks.
[jump] Both of his albums, 2014's Floating While Dreaming and 2015's Limbo are chock full of wild bass lines, reverb, and synthesized chords, which is to say they're eclectic in a Yeezus sort of way. “It's something that definitely resonates with people when they listen to it for the first time because it has an air of nostalgia,” he told AXS. “In the same breath it's futuristic because there may be elements, including my voice, that can sound different and even uncomfortable to some listeners the first time because it's so new and unique.” Sort of like Yeezy. Get it?
Catch Pell tonight as he embarks on the first show of his 16-state nationwide Only In Your Dreams tour.
Pell plays with Daye Jack at 8:30, Tuesday, March 8, at The New Parish in Oakland. $15; thenewparish.com.