Tinashe has dropped Songs For You, her first project since splitting from former label RCA. And it’s an incredible testament to how an artist sounds their best when they’re left to do exactly what they desire.

The independent project sees Tinashe return to her nocturnal, innovative and emotional R&B aesthetic that she first brought onto the scene with the impeccably crafted Nightride.

While her last album Joyride was met with delays and numerous bumps in the road, it is now clear that the only thing stopping Tinashe from really connecting with her fans via music was her label.

Songs For You reignites the fire we saw burning on the slow-winding Nightride. Songs are structured in twisting and unexpected ways, and Tinashe’s vocals have never sounded more impeccable. On Songs For You, the subject matter is clear as day. Love hurts and will continue to seduce us in with its charms.

Tinashe plays with the term “Songs For You”, and removes all romantic sentiment to the idea. Being the ‘You’ in question for this album is not exactly a good thing. These songs aren’t odes to the brilliance of any man, they’re odes to singularity. Bold testaments to the glories of self-discovery and being successful in your own lane, minding your own business, making your own money, falling in love with whoever you please.

If you’ve inspired a song on this project, you’ve wronged Tinashe. You’re competition, someone who has slighted her, someone who bores her while she remains to change things in the game, someone she’s attracted to but refuses to be attached to.

‘Cash Race’ is the most brilliant example of this on the album. Tinashe switches up the song halfway just to brag about how her competition is boring her. And she has every right to. When you fearlessly play with beats and genres on an album like this, it shows confidence. It’s this confidence that Tinashe’s contemporaries just don’t have. While on the break between Joyride and Songs For You, everyone has been trying to capture Tinashe’s sound for themselves, but nobody does it as right as she does.

It’s good to have her back.