Make Lianne La Havas one of your priority “artists to discover” in 2012.
The English folk soul singer songwriter was earmarked for greatness when she earned a nomination for the prestigious tastemaker watch list – BBC Sound of 2012 – so it’s no surprise that her debut album has arrived with a nudging hype. Every line of it is justified the minute you experience Is Your Love Big Enough?, of course.
For me, this record induced the same nods of approval I found myself making the first time I heard Adele‘s 19 and early Corinne Bailey Rae.
Album opener ‘Don’t Wake Me Up’, with its minute-long soundscape of layered acapella harmonies, sets the focus for a vocal-and-song centred experience to follow. For the rest of the record, you’ll find La Havas unabashedly baring a playful yet intimate collection of songs that display effortless beauty and character – regardless of what arrangements her and producer Matt Hales (aka Aqualung) conjures.
Watch the video for ‘Is Your Love Big Enough?’:
Let’s be clear, Is Your Love Big Enough? is not a moody album by any stretch. Although it has moments of raw emotionality, it is Lianne’s ability to kick up a tempo that thrills. The title track, powered by hand claps and sing-a-long hook, is a primed crowd pleaser.
‘Age’ – a charming and utterly splendid ode to falling for an older man – is a personal favourite. “Is it such a problem that he is old? As long as he does whatever he is told. I’m glad that it is just my heart that he stole, and left my dignity alone…”
Elsewhere, there are rosier moments in ‘Au Cinema’, which sounds like the kind of track you want blaring in your bathroom as you primp yourself for a date. Bare-foot-on-bar-stools ballads like ‘No Room for Doubt’ (with Willy Mason) and the aching ‘Lost & Found’ are stunners in their own quiet way.
Watch the video for ‘Lost & Found’:
Lianne La Havas‘ Is Your Love Big Enough? arrived in the UK in early July and will be released in US and Canada on 7 August.
Fellow Aussies, if you can be bothered waiting, Warner Music Australia apparently has this on their radar for a release later in the year. Otherwise, just import your copy like I did.