Review: Khalid begins ‘new era’ of music with latest EP

Photo courtesy of Pitchfork

Khalid, a twenty-year-old rising star in the R&B game, dropped his new EP, titled “Suncity,” on Friday. Khalid broke into the music scene with the release of his debut single, “Location,” back in July 2016. The track peaked at number 16 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 Chart and was really what started the emergence of Khalid as a notable artist. His debut studio album, “American Teen,” was released on March 3, 2017, receiving mainly positive critiques from listeners.

With this new EP, Khalid is said to be starting a “new era” of music. The seven-track EP is only 21 minutes long. It features a short 55-second intro, titled “9.13,” which refers to the day Khalid was presented the key to the city of El Paso from Mayor Dee Margo. The track features a short sound bite from the celebration and is a nice way of starting off the EP, while reminding us that Khalid will never forget his roots and where he came from.

The EP itself, however, does not really have a story to tell as a whole, nor does it stay on a single path musically. “Saturday Nights,” the third track on the album, is a simple guitar beat with chords bouncing off of the sound of snaps that are layered over the country-pop-sounding beat. Khalid, however, manages to ride the beat very well, providing a gorgeous hook like he so often does. That is the thing about Khalid though, and it shows again here on this EP, much like it did in his debut album. His music is not necessarily something innovative or something that you have never heard before, but his sound and his voice take you to another place.

Tracks like “Vertigo,” the second cut on the EP, give off more of those slow, trancy R&B-type vibes that take you away as you get lost in the music.

Track number five, “Motion,” is another slow, smooth jam that provides sharp, melodic vocals from Khalid. The standout part of this track has to be the way it so smoothly transitions into the sixth track and the brightest moment on the EP, “Better.” Khalid released “Better” as a single on September 14, and the track peaked at number 45 on the US Billboard Hot 100. It makes sense that this was chosen as the single from the EP, considering it is by far the biggest gem that can be found inside this seven-track EP.

I think the main point of this release for Khalid was simply to give new music to his fans as he continues to make progress and work on his second studio album. “Suncity,” though scattered at times, gives the audience a lot of different sounds from Khalid and is surely enough for fans to take in as they wait for another full-length album from the rising star.

To contact Lifestyles Editor Sydney Wagner, email

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