After impressing crowds at Glastonbury 2014 and a well-earned nomination for BBC’s ‘Sound of 2015’, Merseyside-based singer-songwriter, Holly Fletcher (better known as Låpsley) has released her debut album ‘Long Way Home’. Fletcher has stated her desire to be able to work on her music completely independently and her strong work ethic makes it abundantly clear that she is driving the direction of her music.
The result? An eclectic mix of ethereal electronica that is difficult to pin down. The album shifts swiftly between more standard electronic pop pieces and some experimental compositions where the music has the tendency to overshadow the vocals. This leads for a slightly disjointed listening experience, but you get the impression that this is kind of the point. Tracks like ‘Leap’ shine with their intriguing experimentalism; whereas other tracks like ‘Station’ feel almost half-finished as a result of diminished vocals and overbearing backing music. Regardless, Låpsley’s assured approach makes you think that everything here was entirely intentional and it adds to the ambience of the album as a whole.
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‘Operator (He Doesn’t Call Anymore)’ is probably the most commercially friendly track and this fun song is certainly a highlight of the album as it contrasts with most of the other songs. The beautiful album closer ‘Seven Months’ highlights the diversity of Låpsley’s reach. However, what really sets her apart is her oft-commented on vocal range. She employs an impressively low register throughout the album, to the point where it could be taken as a second voice. This range is highlighted most effectively on ‘Tell Me The Truth’ and recent single ‘Hurt Me’. This diverse register adds a depth to her music that is difficult to obtain and intriguing to listen to.
Overall, ‘Long Way Home’ is a solid debut from a singer who clearly knows what she’s doing and is set on doing things in her own way, on her own terms. On their own, certain tracks feel weaker, but the cohesive musical backdrop that underpins the album holds it together as a full body of work. The shifts between lower and higher registers keep the listener on their tones and make for a full and unique listening experience.
‘Long Way Home’ is available now via XL Recordings.
This Låpsley article was written by Adam Jones, a GIGsoup contributor. Edited by Ian Bourne.