It’s been a little while since we’ve heard from Boulevards, that foremost conjurer of the funk who hails from North Carolina. Last year’s Groove! was quietly one of the sharpest debuts of the year, offering jams both fresh (the indomitable “Got to Go”) and slow (“Cold Call”) that leaned heavily on vintage funk sounds without coming across as mere pastiche.
Now, though, Boulevards (government name: Jamil Rashad), is making his first sashay back into the world as he prepares his followup. “Wear and Tear,” whose video we’re premiering today, is a patient groover featuring soul singer Laura Reed, along with production work by Rollergirl, whose cocky sound—always a natural fit for Rashad’s charismatic lead and quippy ad-libs—is here dialed back into something more appropriate for Sunday afternoon than Saturday night. The sound is a bit of a refresh, taking notes from the airy loveliness of KING and the narcotic nostalgia of Blood Orange—as well as handclaps straight from “Got Your Money.” It’s a nice little two-step forward that’s matched by Rashad and Reed’s flirting in the clip, which you can see below.