Puma Blue (Real name Jacob Allen) is a south-east London Jazz artist who has slowly been making waves since the release of last year’s single ‘Want Me’. However, it’s clear to see that his influences branch out beyond jazz on his latest EP Swum Baby which he released this June.
Blue took his time with releasing his first project, regularly performing songs such as the EP’s opening track ‘(She’s) Just a Phase’) for just under 2 years. The 5 track EP is 15 minutes of smooth and spacious electric guitar melodies, saxophone solos and most notably Blue’s soulful voice. ‘(She’s) Just a Phase’ is an introduction into the world of Puma Blue, a warm and winding track with a killer chorus that you’ll find stuck in your head for days. He demonstrates how hip-hop and R’n’B influence him on ‘Soft Porn’ which in contrast is a much more distant song. When he sings “this is isolation” you really feel it among the various voices that are echoed and overlaid as if we are stuck in Blue’s conflicted thoughts. The interlude ‘Lil Lude (Dark Embrace)’ further takes us into his seemingly empty world, matched by ‘Untitled 2’, a track led by the crisp electric guitar, also visible in every song on Swum Baby; paired with his nostalgic voice we see Blue look back to less remote times with a lover.
The final single ‘Want me’ is a slow and unwinding track where Blue spills the last of his regret from this failed relationship. He moans, “How come when I’m alone I only think of you?”, pondering where it all went wrong before the EP comes to a close with a characteristically distant saxophone solo. Blue’s ability to effortlessly create such drama on Swum Baby has both critics and fans hungry for more music, yet if there’s one thing to take from this project, it’s that Blue takes everything at his own pace. You can catch Puma Blue supporting Jordan Rakei on his October UK tour this month.By Joel Landschaft-Singe