It is said that the tough times are the true measure of a person’s character. By that definition, Solange is empress, artist and saviour all in one. Eight years after this maverick R&B singer’s second album, and four years since her cathartic portrait of a break-up (True EP), she has gifted us with a bold, vibrant album about freedom and the worth of her people.
Surprise digital album releases have simply become the “new standard” for a section of big-name artists. Still, Solange’s reveal of her first full-length album since 2008, A Seat at the Table, was enough to send the R&B faithful into a spin last week.
This year has seen the end of my time at university in Nottingham and the beginning of a new chapter at Goldsmiths in London. From Janelle Monáe’s ArchAndroid and the classic soul of the 60s getting me through my dissertation, to my first ever listen to Danger Mouse’s Rome (walking to and from the city campus’s library for the Trent Media AGM), to Ghostpoet’s life-affirming tones giving me the vigour to make it through my driving theory test; music has been with me every step of the way.