February 15th – The Exchange

UK hip hop has never been as hyped as it is now – Grime’s attempt to break the US has been championed by heavyweights in the American rap game, so much so that I wouldn’t be surprised if Drake had bought Skepta a friendship bracelet to further pledge allegiance to the collective. But as grime steals the limelight, in the overlooked corners of the UK lies the south London inflection of Loyle Carner.

From the same collective as King Krule, Carner’s music also plays with the same rawness and starkness that Krule does, but that is where the similarities end. The production on the tracks – typically a stripped back boombap beat – creates a sunny sense of wistfulness, which softens the blow of Carner’s unfiltered and emotionally charged lyricism.

From lingering contemplations on past sorrows, to honesty delivered with the truth of a voice that wobbles on the verge of breaking; Carner doesn’t pretend to be anything he’s not, in fact he ruminates on himself, his life, his family and his experiences. It is a musical experience that is resolutely British, relatable, and profoundly touching. Carner makes his way to the Exchange on the 15th, catch him while you can.

Check out ‘Tierney Terrace’ right here: