Sargeant x Comrade is a duo from Calgary consisting of vocalist Yolanda Sargeant and producer Comrade. They released their first album as a duo, Magic Radio, on Black Buffalo Record in 2020. They released their sophomore album, The Elephant in the Room, in 2021. Since that time, we’ve gotten singles, remixes, and instrumentals, but now they are back for round three with their latest album, Lo Fi Future.

Years ago, I had a conversation with producer Fresh Kils, who brought up his three-album theory with me. It essentially says that it often takes three albums for an artist to really find their voice and their confidence to make an album that really hits. With Sargeant x Comrade, you can really hear them take the next step on their third album, Lo Fi Future. This isn’t a dig at the first two albums, which are still really good, but just to note that with two albums already under their belt, there seems to be a boost in confidence that comes with the established working chemistry which allows them to not only try new things, but to succeed at them. On this album, they are taking the neo-soul base that they’ve established and pushing it into the future. Sonically, this means working with retro synthesizers and analog technology to create a “futuristic” funk sound, while Sargeant is looking towards the stars while she writes her lyrics. There is some psychedelia, funk, soul, hip hop, jazz fusion, and neo-soul all blended together to create these smooth, yet slightly weird, grooves. On the mic, Sargeant is leading the way with an incredibly strong voice. She never feels the need to do too much with her vocals lines, instead finding a balance somewhere between Badu and Flack in the way she crafts her melodies. As she looks towards the future and contemplates technology, the galaxy, and beyond, the album takes on a philosophical bent that then becomes reminiscent of Georgia Anne Muldrow. If that wasn’t enough, we also get guest appearances from FLYTRAP, K-Riz, Prevail, and Odario, who all get to add just the right amount of flavor to balance out the album and take it up a notch.

Lo Fi Future is a big step forward for Sargeant x Comrade. The’ve taken the sound they’ve established over the last couple of years and pushed it in new and exciting directions without losing their identity. It’s challenging and different, while still remaining accessible, and more than anything, it’s an incredibly smooth and soulful album.