New On The Map: Låpsley
The growing hype surrounding Holly Låpsley Fletcher, or Låpsley, which has been building over the past year in the wake of her ‘Monday’ EP, has culminated in the 18-year-old from Liverpool exploding onto the mainstream music scene during the last month. In the aftermath of her sold out concert at the ICA in London on November 26th it seemed fitting to write something about Låpsley as a breakthrough artist.
In October Lapsley was signed to XL Recordings, joining such artists as The xx, Ibeyi and FKA Twigs. November saw things really take off for this emerging artist. Not only was she tipped for Annie Mac Presents 2014, but she recorded acoustic versions of a number of her tracks, as well as a cover of Daniel Bedingfield‘s noughties classic ‘Gotta get Through This’ at Maida Vale for BBC Introducing and Huw Stephens.
All high praise indeed and proof of Lapsley’s talent and listenability. Going online on the 24 November, Lapsley’s session for BBC 1 has already racked up an impressive number of hits. Her highly anticipated new EP, ‘The Understudy’, will be released on 5 January, 2015.
So what is it about the teenage Liverpudlian’s music which has captured so many people’s attention? Lapsley’s unbelievably beautiful and distinctive voice, teamed with skilful and original production, allows her to release tracks which are instantly recognisable as her own, something which in today’s music industry seems to be increasingly rare.
Since winning the Liverpool’s GIT One To Watch Award in April 2014, Lapsley has emerged as one of the most interesting vocal artists on the music scene. The combination of striking vocals over slowed down, skilled electro-tinged production, makes her stand out from other, less accomplished attempts at this synthesis of live singing and electronic production.
She manages to walk the line between ‘popular’ music and the electronic music subculture. Her voice lends an essential element of emotion and personality to a genre of music which can often be impersonal and monotonous.
Lapsley is ‘easy listening’, and testament to her popularity can be seen in the number of features she has made on other artists’ tracks, a particular favourite of mine being Tydes’ ‘Pray For You’. Lapsley’s music is fresh but also holds resonance and durability.
The reason she has received acclaim is because her vocal is not a mere aside to excellent production, as is so often the case with electronic music, but rather highlights what the marriage between a truly talented vocal and careful track production can produce.
If you visit Lapsley’s SoundCloud you see the progress of her work from the very first tracks, such as ‘Crosses’, to her more recent, refined work. Lapsley’s music shows versatility, from raw cut back tracks like ‘Falling Short’, which allows her voice to really shine through, to tracks like ‘Alaskan Dreams’, dominated by its adroit electronic production.
It’s not often that vocal artists get me excited, but Lapsley has managed to due to her natural raw talent and track production. My own personal favourite, her cover of New Order’s cult classic ‘Blue Monday’, showed her bravery as an artist. As her acclaim grows her musical spectrum will undoubtedly broaden, and I, like so many others, can’t wait to see what her new EP will have to offer.
[Header image: Lapsley’s Facebook Page]
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