From South London, British hip-hop musician Loyle Carner has finally released his debut album “Yesterday’s Gone”, after gaining attention with singles such as ‘Tierney Terrace’ and having supported artists such as MF Doom, Joey Badass and Nas the past years.
This is an artist that we’ve kept an eye on for a while now and we couldn’t be more impressed by the soulful, emotional and powerful songs Loyle has shared with us. Recounting moments that have marked him in his life, to the importance of his mother where we’re introduced to her in quirky ways with the transition “Swear” or his parents feature on “Sun Of Jean” – this album introduces us to the artist, his life and thoughts.
“The Isle of Arran” is one of the best opening tracks to a hip-hop album I’ve seen in a while, originally released as a single, the track is named after the place where his grandfather lived, citing him as one of the few major male role model in his life as compared to others like his dad who is mentioned often. The powerful gospel choir in the background brings the song to life like Loyle opening up to a priest in a confessional. “Mean it in the Morning” shows emotion with a cooling track introducing us to Loyle’s past with mentions of his ex-girlfriend, spending time with his friend Rebel Kleff and a general feel of change of what once was. “+44” has no music, just Loyle, flowing through the need of comfort reflected as the sentiment of texting a girl to in the end realise, you’ve done the same mistake as before: “But now you feel a false start got you calling your past, and they ain’t answering you, nah, ‘cause it’s all in a laugh”.
One of the main artist Loyle Career has been collaborating with, Tom Misch, makes an appearance on “Damselfly”, a song about being tired of dating, him discovering however his love for this girl who the song is about. “Ain’t Nothing Changed” brings us a smooth saxophone-dominated beat where Loyle emphasises that “ain’t nothing changed”, his craft is mastered and no influences will change his mind-set for his songs. “Florence” accompanied by Kwes, talks about about the unborn sister Loyle’s always wanted, the song speaks for itself:
“Stars & Shards” brings us to the main hook of the song: “Stars and shards of glass will harm if they meddle”, related to his friend Sonny meaning that the combination of dreams and dealing high class drugs will hurt you. Stars is related to shooting for the stars and aiming for your dreams whilst shards of glass is methamphetamines in crystal or glass form. “NO CD” joined again by Rebel Kleff refers to having no P’s (pounds/money) as Loyle has spent them all on records, referencing OBD’s “Return to 36 Chambers” and JAY-Z’s “The Blueprint”. Powerful songs such as “Mrs C” about a friend’s mother who was sick with cancer and “Sun of Jean” which features piano from his late dad and spoken words by his mum shows how extensively powerful Loyle Carner’s music can be.
For Loyle, yesterday’s gone, but as seen in the album cover photo, he hasn’t forgotten anything or anyone along the way, introducing us to his life, the people around him and his mentality where every now and then, he needs to be reminded not to take things too seriously:
“Just enjoy your life. Get wave, eat bad food, party. As long as you’re having fun. As long as you love your life, innit.”
– Rebel Kleff in “Rebel 101”.