Låpsley is a 20-year-old vocalist and producer from York with an ear for making classy, electronic pop. Her debut album is delicate, striking and emotive.
Låpsley – or Holly Fletcher, to her friends – is the owner of a mature voice for her tender age. She pronounces her words in a clear, well-spoken manner that brings singers such as Peggy Lee and Anna Calvi to mind. Though they are separated by decades, both of these singers hold you to attention with vocals that have a timeless aura to them. It’s this aura that resonates on the sublime ‘Operator (He Doesn’t Call Me)’, through its jaunty hook and undertone of 40s-era pop.
Long Way Home is about a long distance relationship and the process of making this album – which took her from Liverpool to London to Los Angeles, and back again – Låpsley has said. You hear this in ‘Heartless’ and ‘Painter’, songs which are heavy on mood, but unspectacular in isolation. Yet, with the help of XL Recording’s in-house producer Rodaidh McDonald, Låpsley has crafted an evocative combination of piano, percussion and electronic loops into reasoned music that capture the trials (‘Cliff’) and troubles (‘Tell Me the Truth’) of young love.
Låpsley’s debut album is moving stuff, provided you give it your fullest attention. There are songs here that are instantly catchy, similar to fellow electronic-pop musicians Kiesza, Little Boots and Shura, but others are more delicate (‘Station’) in their nuance. With that in mind, Long Way Home is perfect travelling music: a time when these tactful songs, and the touching stories behind them, will truly come alive.
Long Way Home is out now on XL Recordings.