Emily King titling her sophomore LP Scenery was no mistake. Moving to the Catskill Mountains after years of inner-city life, it’s no stretch to imagine the picturesque setting allowing for the graceful, laid back atmosphere that both informs and fills her latest record with life.

Moreover, the songs of Scenery can’t be described as anything less than, well, scenic. Equally balanced between clean sophisti-pop, neo-soul, and gilded R&B, such a mixture could readily betray a less nuanced artist. Indeed, that mere description alone would often be enough to cause concern arriving in the ol' inbox, but somehow, Emily King, along with producer and longtime collaborator Jeremy Most, has crafted a record as entrancing as it is immediate.

These are songs to fall into completely, and you needn’t fear the fall. It’s rare to encounter music so warmly prepared bolster and cushion. Mixed by Tom Elmhirst, whose credits range all the way from David Bowie to Adele, it’s hard to imagine the music sounding any better. So placidly do these songs flow from speakers that you just may wonder as to whether other pop albums in recent memory are slacking on the finesse.

It’s very much mood music, and the medicine may indeed go down so smooth as to disconcert a listener looking for their edges more frayed, but when the hour strikes, damn does it strike. On those days where life is plenty frayed enough, little is so sure to soothe as watching Scenery go by. Like we said, that title is no mistake.

King herself is no slouch, casting immediate grooves with assured, deeply felt, and above all, lived-in vocals. As ‘Caliche’ builds from a seductive feint of tapping hand drum into a minor explosion of sound, King deftly rides the song across its nearly abrupt changes with aplomb, effortlessly selling the affair.

As the record reaches its emotional peak (or perhaps nadir) with ‘Forgiveness’, King’s vocals truly soar. As she belts out, “You make me beg for forgiveness/ I just can't stay in your presence/ without making bad decisions,” with rising urgency, it’s all too easy to relate. Many of us have somehow encountered that person, proceeded to spend too much time with them, and then sat around fretting about it while shooting them texts for more plans - and even if you haven’t, King sure as hell will make you feel like you have.

Scenery may indeed be painstakingly constructed to connect with its audience with ease, balanced into near pure equanimity, but lurking under its surface is a highly personal, often world-weary album. ‘Running’ alone, with its desperate mixture of self-loathing and hope for redemption, bears the weight of lesser pop albums’ entire runtimes. The music here may float into the ear canal, but Emily King is anything but feather light. She crafts what can only be called humane pop, and it seeks to understand. Gentle music that, should you let your guard down, may just leave you stunned.