Though you may not have heard of Emotional Oranges, they are one of the most promising acts in the pop sphere right now. Since their debut in 2019, the Los Angeles-based duo has built up a catalog of vibey pop tunes, raked in millions of streams and collaborated with some of the biggest names in the game. On January 13, they dropped a new single, “Bonafide,” featuring their Avant Garden labelmate, Chiiild.
Now, to be entirely honest, when the press release mentioned that the music Emotional Oranges and Chiiild make is almost like a blend between The Weeknd and Tame Impala, I had a hard time imagining what that combination would sound like. But after just a few seconds of listening to “Bonafide,” the analogy made perfect sense. Between the song’s sly beat, swaggering electric bassline and glossy, R&B vocal performances, “Bonafide” touts the signature sound that Emotional Oranges have created such a buzz around.
In addition to building a reputation for their moody pop prowess, Emotional Oranges have also built up a reputation for being mysterious. Avoiding clear photos of themselves and only using the pseudonyms “A” and “V,” the duo has gone through great lengths to build an enigmatic aura around their work. This aesthetic not only factors into how fun of a group Emotional Oranges are, but it also keeps the focus on the art itself, rather than on the celebrity (evidently, “A” is an audio engineer for Drake and “V” is a vocal coach for Adele).
“I wanted to make something that felt like it could score that iconic Black Swan mirror scene,” one of the group’s two members told American Songwriter. “We were listening to a lot of Sade and The xx at the time. Once we got locked in, Max from slenderbodies helped bring the idea to life in a couple of hours. Getting the Chiiild vocals on the hook was the cherry on top—we’ve been looking for the right song to do together since tour.”
For his part, Chiiild—who’s worked with folks like Frank Ocean and Diplo—noted that the song is a source of hope in the midst of uncertain times. “‘Bonafide,’ like the title, is about a genuine, unwavering love,” he says. “Withstanding the good times and strengthening during the bad.”
“Bonafide” comes ahead of Emotional Oranges’ third studio album, Juicebox, which is set to drop later in 2021 and will feature a track with Vince Staples. With strong songs and rising momentum behind them, Emotional Oranges continue to climb up the pop ranks, causing heads to bob and toes to tap all along the way.
Listen to ‘Bonafide’ by Emotional Oranges featuring Chiiild below: