“Rubber Lion” is the second single by East-London based soul duo Equals comprised of James Lowe and Adeleye Omotayo who first made a splash on our site with the soul-lifting single “Red Plenty.” on their sophomore single, the duo go for a more reflective and solemn sound on the single and really tap into the vulnerability of their spirits. Draped by a soft piano progression and mellow drums, Omotayo delivers a very sublime performance that rises and ebbs at certain strategic points in the song. the vocals here are not overwhelmed by multiple instruments but rather everything is spaced out allowing the song itself to flow effortlessly.
Speaking about the song Ade explained, “a Rubber Lion is a man not brave enough to be vulnerable, so scared of emotional exposure he ends up alone with only his fear for company”. “I could gaslight forever, how would you, hear me?” sings Ade on the first verse, with atmospheric vocal delays repeating back his words like the voice of his fear scorning him.
Sonically the track sits somewhere between Frank Ocean’s “Self Control” and Sampha’s “(No One Knows Me) Like the Piano” thanks to co-production from Orlando Leopard and Equals’ own James Lowe. The band recorded the track live in Baltic Studios in Hoxton, east London with long time collaborators Johnny Tomlinson (Bonobo Live) on piano joined by Chris (Fatty) Hargreaves on bass (Pengshui/Submotion Orchestra) and Matt Davies (Noya Rao) on Drums and horns from Ryan Jacob (Killer Horns).
Get the single on all DSPs here