Back in May, A.K. Paul quietly dropped his first song in four years, a groovy bop called “HUNGRY BEAT” made during quarantine. Today, he’s back with another new one called “Be Honest”.
The track is a mechanical alt-R&B tune that sets the English artist’s warm-blooded croon over watery, refracting synths that almost recall the busyness of vaporwave. It’s exactly the sort of left-of-center pop that we’ve come to expect from Paul and his equally elusive brother, Jai — and apparently we can expect more new material from the siblings soon.
In a statement paired with “Be Honest”, A.K. Paul announced that he and Jai are relaunching their enigmatic label, the Paul Institute, and have a whole slew of new releases slated for the coming months.
“I’m really happy we’re releasing new music with Paul Institute this summer,” he said. “It’s been a while coming and the last couple of years have been perilous at times for PI, particularly because of a legal fight that set us back. So besides it being sick music, to return with such a strong set of releases feels like a vindication of our rights as artists too.”
“Be Honest” itself explores the idea of re-invigoration. According to Paul, it’s “about giving up control for a moment, allowing yourself to feel something beyond what you’ve known.” He continued, “It’s a song about liking something you didn’t think you would like, feeling something you didn’t think you would feel — and as you come to your senses being faced with the prospect you’ve only half lived…”.
Take a listen to “Be Honest” below.
Back in 2017, the brothers launched the Paul Institute with the intent to “support and nurture new British music talent.” Within the next two years, they released music by artists like Fabiana Palladinio and Ruthven, as well as HIRA and REINEN. So far they haven’t revealed any names for this upcoming dump of material, but going by those previous signees, it’s safe to assume that the artists they choose to work with will be relatively obscure.
As of press time, a visit to the Paul Institute’s official website brings up an error code that reads, “Resource Limit Is Reached.” At least the Paul brothers remain a reliable source for some good old fashioned internet mystery.