There are really only two things you need to know about Coachella lineup honoree Låpsley; one, her powerful pop ballads are one of the most exciting things that have happened this year so far, and two, she enjoys yachting. The British singer/songwriter spent much of 2015 releasing a number of tracks, the first four of which came on the Monday EP, which featured a head-bobbing, lo-fi cover of New Order’s “Blue Monday.” While Låpsley’s early work focused heavily on her bass driven, minimalist melodies, with her soft euphonious murmurs oftentimes taking a backseat, her recent teasers have highlighted her striking voice much more.
It began with Understudy, which had songs like “Falling Short” and “Brownlow” that pushed the young singer’s gorgeous trills to the forefront of quiet synth movements that relied on the subtle drops and rises of Låpsley’s vocals for an emotive sucker-punch. With 2015 behind her 2016 finally here, as well as a slot at this year’s Coachella just on the horizon, the young singer has offered up her newest EP, an album sampler of her upcoming debut Long Way Home. After months of teasing, Låpsley has emerged from a cocoon of EP’s and single’s completely evolved–she doesn’t settle for R&B driven sensuality, her ambient melodies carry a buoyancy and ardent depth that curls comfortably around her lofty cries. The sampler’s newest addition, “Love is Blind,” sees Låpsley’s heart-breaking tenor bursts through a soft twinkling of synths and rolling percussion, while its finale is a cutting collision of background croons and orchestral themes that crescendo into a sudden fade. It’s Celine Dion meets Zola Jesus at a How To Dress Well concert–so pretty much the best thing to happen to PBR&B in 2016 so far.
Long Way Home is out March 4, and it’ll no doubt be the gem we’ve been waiting over a year for. Catch Låpsley at the Indio Polo Fields on day two of Coachella, where she’ll (hopefully) be performing under the intimate cover of the Gobi stage.
Words: Steven Ward