Loraine James - Reflection
Made during summer 2020, Loraine James’ second Hyperdub album, Reflection, is a turbulent expression of inner-space, laid out in unflinching honesty, offering gentle empathy and bitter-sweet hope. Reflection further develops a unique pop sensibility realised on last year’s Nothing EP, while tones of Drill and R&B seep through into this collection too. In contrast to the brash splashes of 2019’s For You And I LP and the grimey anger of Nothing, Reflection is pared-down and confident, taking the listener through how last year felt as a young black queer woman in a world that has suddenly stopped moving, the arc of the album peppered with Loraine’s diaristic confessions. Starting positively with the gentle pop-trap of ‘Built To Last’ ft Xzavier Stone, into the bumpy instrumental of ‘Let’s Go’, the album switches tone with ‘Simple Stuff’, followed by regular collaborator Le3 bLACK amplifying Loraine’s vulnerability on the downcast drill of ‘Black Ting’, then ‘Insecure Behaviour And Fuckery’ is a techno glide which pairs Nova’s confrontational plea for respect, delivered in monotone autotune, against deep Drexciyan chords. With Baths on vocals, the weightlessness of ‘On The Lake Outside’ soothes numb feelings, and Eden Samara explores the shadow world of anxious dreams on the airy R&B of ‘Running Like That’. Closing track ‘We’re Building Something New’ with Manchester rapper Iceboy Violet brings the album together, confidently suggesting a new world is in reach. Reflection is a brave step forward for a unique and creative 21st century musician.
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