Album Review Steve Lacy - Apollo XXI

Steve Lacy - Apollo XXI

At once ’70s nostalgia and forward-thinking black excellence.


Seeing Steve Lacy’s name on a production schedule is a sign of gold standard. From his work with The Internet to Vampire Weekend, his light production touch is instantly recognisable, capturing a sound that is at once ’70s nostalgia and forward-thinking black excellence.

His first record with his name above the door, ‘Apollo XXI’ makes for the ideal CV. ‘Playground’ and ‘N Side’ are the jump rope-slapping sound of block parties, burst water hydrants and summer love, while ‘Guide’ would have Metronomy’s Joe Mount selling his soul for that itchy baseline. It’s not all fun and games though - ‘Like Me’ concealing a hard-hitting message within its melody, detailing a life without role models or equal representation, questioning the lack of diversity in both his upbringing and the wider entertainment industry. If Lacy is to get the props he deserves, he may well be one of the young black artists leading the charge for a better world.