Petite Noir: “Till We Ghosts”
The most recognizable thing about Petite Noir (aka Yannick Ilunga) is his voice. It’s one of those love it/hate type voices that, at its best, harkens back to TV on the Radio, and at its worst–Depeche Mode karaoke. But straddling sides isn’t new for the Cape Town native. Ilunga started singing in punk bands before adapting a new genre he calls noirwave. “Noirwave is about being yourself and combining all of your influences,” he tells i-D, “which sounds super simple and clichéd but most people find that really difficult.” His new EP, The King of Anxiety, is an intriguing mixture of retro rock, jazz, and soul, fulfilling the mission of noirwave without sounding an ounce as “art project”-y as the name might appear. My favorite track is “Till We Ghosts,” a track that actually made its web premiere back in 2012 but was updated with an added duet with Yasiin Bey (Mos Def) for the EP. If you like this, we also recommend “Chess” (of course, if you haven’t heard it already).