Lianne La Havas - Forget

This is one voice we won’t forget in a hurry.

Music is sometimes likened to being a religion of its own, and taking that metaphor and running with it for a minute, that would surely cast Jools Holland in the role of a St. Peter-type figure, inviting admittance into Musical Credibility to a select few – he’s the anti-Cowell, if you like. So it came as no surprise when he featured Londoner Lianne La Havas on his show in October last year, with her embodying that old adage of what little girls are made of. Looking like a pretty young ingénue in a white dress, singing sweetly whilst strumming – and telling a wry and sultry tale of having a considerably older boyfriend in ‘Age’: ‘Is it such a problem if he’s old / As long as he does whatever he’s told?’, all done with a wicked smile in place. Sugar and spice, indeed.

To quote another old saying: if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it, so this EP is no great departure from 2011’s ‘Lost & Found’ – but it shows more of the bite displayed in the Everything Everything cover featured there. ‘Forget’ opens with a funkadelic, bass-heavy riff and blossoms into gorgeous double-tracked vocals, flurries of snare drum, and a sound this reviewer can only describe as ‘dark calypso’. In comparison, the Two Inch Punch remix feels unnecessary but is an interesting slow jam take on the original – if only it hadn’t weirded up the vocals with studio magic. ‘Au Cinema’ is similar in tempo to sound to ‘Age’, while ‘Same As Me’ crackles with warmth, like something out of a dream sequence. ‘Gone’, the most understated of the tracks, initially presents as a simple, piano-led ballad, but gradually evolves into something more powerful, taking Lianne’s voice into a higher register and reveals her at her most impassioned.

There have already been the inevitable comparisons to Corinne Bailey Rae, but Lianne’s influences seem to stretch farther and wider in time and place. She has the smokiness of Billie Holiday, the sweetness of Erykah Badu, and even the soulfulness of 80s coffee table favourite Sade. Her two EPs so far have offered an intriguing but incomplete glimpse into the world of this talented singer, but we’ll have to wait ‘til her full album later this year to take a more comprehensive look. One thing’s for sure though: unlike the title of this mini-collection, this is one voice we won’t forget in a hurry.

Tags: Lianne La Havas, Reviews, EP Reviews

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