After six years of releasing just singles and EPs, Chicago-born and Los Angeles-based singer and songwriter Ravyn Lenae steps out to debut her first, full-length album, Hypnos. In celebration of her debut album, Ravyn Lenar has announced tour dates with a Los Angeles headline gig at the the El Rey Theatre on May 31.
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Ravyn Lenae’s 16-track LP is the first collection of songs released by Lenae since her 2018 EP Crush. Rhythmic, pulsating and open like a free flowing stream, Hypnos is a deep dive into the self; a joint experience that reveals as much about Lenae as it does the listener.
From romance to heartbreak, confidence and insecurity, Lenae walks us through an intimate and vulnerable journey where strength is found through making mistakes and learning to trust the journey of life.
“When you listen to the music, I hope you have a better understanding of me and even catch a better understanding of yourself,” Lenae notes. “As artists, we make music as a pathway to help other people understand certain aspects of their lives. I’ve gone through the tunnels and seen the light on the other side. I’m finding my way. I’m clearer on who I am and my power through music and lyricism. I’m pouring more into me, friendships, family, and music. Through all of that, I’m fulfilled.”
With an alternative R&B sound, Lenae fills her album with electro downbeats, soulful melodies and subtle instrumentals. In “Skin Tight” featuring Steve Lacy, Lenae takes her time singing over a glossy beat and harmonizing backing vocals versus the more uptempo “Venom” that relies on electronic sounds to drive a cascading mix of elements that seem disjointed at first, but then amalgamate delightfully. All tracks retain a 90s hip hop and R&B vibe, with hooks, harmonies and melodies reminiscent of TLC or Aaliyah.
Featuring an array producers and artists such as Kaytranada, Steve Lacy, Luke Titus, Monte Booker, Smino, Foushee, Phoelix, Mereba, Teo Halm and IAMNOBOD — the LP ebbs and flows through a variety of topics and influences, always steered by a laid back pacing and Lenae’s smooth vocals that sit comfortably within a subtly high register.
Having been classically trained at Chicago’s High School For The Arts, Lenae’s effortless vocals and ability to take a diverse, free form approach to her music has helped foster a progression of sound that has matured and expanded into an expansive debut album and a memorable stage presence. Her deft music skills have even translated to television where her single “Rewind” was prominently featured during a key moment in HBO’s Insecure series.
In support of her new album, Lenae is heading into a North American tour with UK/EU tour dates sprinkled in toward the end. She will be in L.A. on May 31 performing at the El Rey Theatre; in Ventura on May 29 at the Ventura Music Hall; and in Berkeley on May 28 at the Cornerstone.
Words: Patti Sanchez
For more on Ravyn Lenae, make sure to visit her website and follow her on Instagram and Twitter.
North America Tour Dates:
05/26 – Seattle, WA @ Nuemos
05/28 – Berkley, CA @ Cornerstone
05/29 – Ventura, CA @ Ventura Music Hall
05/31 – Los Angeles, CA @ El Rey
06/01 – Phoenix, AZ @ Aura
06/03 – Dallas, TX @ Cambridge Room
06/05 – Atlanta, GA @ Vinyl
06/08 – Brooklyn, NY @ Prospect Park
06/10 – Boston, MA @ BMH
06/22 – Chicago, IL @ Metro
UK/EU Tour Dates:
06/14 – Manchester, England @ Band on the Wall
06/15 – London, England @ Islington Assembly Hall
06/18 – Paris, France @ Badaboum
06/19 – Amsterdam, Netherlands @ Melkweg
06/20 – Berlin, Germany @ Berghain