Roy French Credit: Image via Roy French's Facebook page

Local rapper Roy French first caught my eye and ear with 2014’s Face God, which I liked for its vivid artwork and psychedelic flair. Yesterday French dropped a mixtape called Vroom, and he seems to have figured out how to use the colors on his palette with more precision and restraint—he’s at his best when he goes monochromatic. On “Tommy Pickles,” whose pared-down instrumental is dominated by echoing, bell-like synths, he spends half the time rapping in a calm monotone; when he changes gears to half-sing the song’s hook, the track’s minimalism makes the subtle shift feel huge, as though he’s suddenly dropping his defenses.