Considering her impeccable talent, Lianne La Havas’ has passed relatively under the radar since the 2012 success of Is Your Love Big Enough?. Her single ‘Green and Gold’, taken from its follow up, Blood, received a good degree of commercial success, but otherwise it feels like Lianne La Havas has been a well-kept secret. Now, five years later, her self-titled album is here, and it is here to be heard.
In its lead single, ‘Bittersweet’, Lianne’s husky vocals overlay to create a rousing track that is undeniably a standout. The lyrics are full of heartbreak, musing on the complication of relationships, and their difficult terminations.
Second single ‘Paper Thin’ is equally an intimate highlight. The track takes us through a breakup accompanied by blissful guitar and dainty drumbeats. These tracks use jazz influences to draw out a captivating, soulful sound. When combined with earnest lyrics, they make for easy repeat listens.
The vibrancy of her debut still permeates through the album. ‘Can’t Fight’ has the quick-paced guitar typical of the musician’s 2012 style.
Her bold decision to not only cover Radiohead’s ‘Weird Fishes’ but to release it as a single has been honoured by many radio plays in recent weeks. Her soft balladic take on the track showcases her vocal skills beautifully. Her deep voice cuts effortlessly through the flawless instrumentation. The backing track cuts out to reveal layered vocals repeated like a hypnotic mantra.
Lianne La Havas is full of these delicate vocals, along with soft guitar strings, and truly heartfelt moments. Moodier than its predecessors, the album is a masterclass in storytelling. It hooks you in and bridges a sense of empathy with the listener to a degree which many songwriters fail to reach.