2012 was a phenomenal year for music, and, for me at least, British singer-songwriter Lianne La Havas was the crowning jewel. Her debut album, Is Your Love Big Enough?, was a record of astounding colour and emotional depth. So it’s encouraging that La Havas has steadily been refining new songs, and a little under three years later her second album is at last ready to be released.
Earlier this week, BBC Radio 1 presenter and DJ, Annie Mac, debuted ‘Unstoppable’, the first single from La Havas’s new album, Blood. If this bold, multilayered confection is a reflection of the rest of her 10-track album, then we’re in for a serious treat this summer. Starting from a quiet multi-track harmony, the song gradually swells and unfolds like a flower in bloom. It’s spacey, celestial, cosmic, astral, all of those things. And her time spent with Prince definitely appears to have had a big effect on this track, which has a resoundingly funky vibe.
For the album itself, La Havas, who’s half-Greek, half-Jamaican, travelled to Jamaica to learn more about the family she’d never met. As a result, expect themes of heritage, self-discovery and returning to one’s roots on her new record. She’s worked with producer and co-writer, Paul Epworth (who’s worked with more chart-topping, award-winning artists than he can probably remember), this time round. This first taste of their collaboration is a real zinger: a blend of soul, pop and funk that’s unusual, yet undeniably moreish.
Unstoppable appears on the forthcoming album, Blood, out July 31, on Warner Bros Records.
Image: Warner Bros Records