After reaching number one on New Zealand’s iTunes chart with his 2009 album Something Awesome, kiwi emcee David Dallas looks to expand his fan base overseas with the free release of The Rose Tint. With soulful production and introspective lyrics throughout, Dallas shows that his 8,800 mile relocation to the Big Apple has paid off.

There’s nothing too flashy about The Rose Tint’s production and Dallas is not the kind of rapper to drop punch lines that will have you hitting the rewind button. But, in a way, it’s this minimalism that makes The Rose Tint such an enjoyable listen. Whether it’s discussing his joy in finally being over an ex in “Nothing To Do (With You)” or his farewell to his family on “Postcard,” there’s an honesty in Dallas’ lyrics that’s so genuine it’s refreshing. Another album standout is his collaboration with Freddie Gibbs on “Caught in a Daze,” where Dallas proves he can hang with hip-hop’s other up and comers—and a lyrically gifted on in Gangsta Gibbs, at that.

The album may lack the big hit that will garner Dallas mainstream attention, but that kind of song likely would have detracted from the overall laid-back feel of the project. Now signed with Duck Down Records, it’s likely only a matter of time before we see him link up with some of the label’s big guns. After hitting his mark with The Rose Tint, it should be exciting to see what other shades David Dallas has to offer up in the future. —Neil Martinez-Belkin