Sounding like another person is on no account the restrict to Lenae’s inventive yield; she is as confident as she is exploratory. Slightly than replicating a nostalgia that’s change into commonplace, she has earnestly studied these forebears and utilized their methods to her personal model of sentimental and intense music. “Mild Me Up,” the album’s attractive, slow-burning centerpiece, creates a moodboard of R&B references, and digs deep into the thrill of sexual exploration: “Come inside/Present me you’re the chief/Switchin’ sides/Make me a believer,” she begs. Lenae’s weightless falsetto and stimulated writing make it a feminine up to date to D’Angelo’s “Untitled (How Does It Really feel).”
The best way Lenae appears to look at and deliberate her selections in actual time makes her a magnetic narrator. On “M.I.A.,” she takes inventory of her life and goes full escapist mode in ways in which decide to her shapeshifting tendencies. Taking notes from the Afrobeats artist Amaarae, the track is slick and coolheaded, cheekily rhyming concerning the freedom to sneak away at a second’s discover. On “3D,” Lenae reunites with Zero Fatigue’s Monte Booker and Smino for a wobbly groove that places Lenae within the driver’s seat of a relationship transferring too quick. “I’m asking you to maintain it mild/Issues are higher movin’ sluggish,” she cautions, elevating her pitch with every phrase of warning. In her earlier work with Booker and Smino, Lenae seemed like a beautiful vocalist, however as HYPNOS emphasizes, she could be all of these issues and the star of her personal story.
Whereas the vast majority of HYPNOS’ themes are commonplace to early twentysomething expertise—heartbreak, rising aside, trifling males, discovering your footing—Lenae makes them really feel simply digestible and fewer existential. On “Pores and skin Tight,” she ponders the kinetic power of a previous relationship with grace and respect past her years. The scornful acoustic quantity “Mercury,” with “Deep Finish” singer Fousheé, initially comes off as a minor track on the album. However Lenae’s ethereal, level-minded method is charming—making this a daring and bittersweet spotlight. Whilst she whispers “I fucking hate you/Don’t ever converse my identify” it by no means sounds all that painful, extra like pity within the face of disgust.
Even when heartache leaves her distraught, Lenae is laser-focused on reaching for non secular affirmation and aggrandizement. The album ends on the feather contact of heartfelt nearer “Want,” which brings collectively Lenae’s dizzying expression and limitless execution as a vocalist. “Each night time you shut your eyes, make a little bit want,” Lenae sings, tip-toeing down the phrases. It may carry you out of the deepest gap. Whilst she touches on developments and acquainted themes, it’s Lenae’s supply, confidence, and alluring presence that makes HYPNOS stand aside. As she considers her anxieties, hopes, and doubts, she reveres the musical icons earlier than her in ways in which present simply how prepared she is for her personal flip.