Making year-end lists is hard. The process of tracking down all the music you heard over the prior 12 months, then whittling those songs down to the "best" material, is often a battle, both internally and externally. Once the selections are made, the blurbs written and the beloved jams placed into pretty packages for public consumption, comes the inevitable feeling of dread: "I forgot to include something that I really, really loved." Typically, there's nothing to be done after the fact, except personally vow to not make the same mistake next year. But this time around, I'm (thankfully) able to take a few steps back into 2015 to give an overlooked track its just due.
Released in November, Joella DeVille's "Submit To Ya" is a time capsule to the '90s, when soulful seduction was smooth and straightforward. The Jersey City singer-songwriter describes her own sound as "raw pop" — but "Submit To Ya" is all-R&B everything. With phenomenal production handled by Phoenix-based producer LeeTRBL, Joella knows exactly how to work the beat to her advantage. Instead of overdoing it with flowery verses and complex harmonies, she settles right into the funk-lined groove, playing nice and slow alongside a freaked vocal loop reminiscent of something Timbaland would have cooked up for the late, great Aaliyah. The relaxed bridge of ascending "oohs" and the hook of descending "heys" linger just long enough, a vocal roller coaster that swoops and dips between Joella's promises of sensual submission. My advice? Put this track on repeat and enjoy the ride.
"Submit To Ya" is the lead single from Joella DeVille's upcoming EP, Control. You can buy the song now on iTunes.