Kate Tempest's latest album: living poetry amid the chaos of 2019
June 19, 2019 7:27 AM   Subscribe

Kate Tempest’s latest record finds beauty amidst breakdown. The spoken word poet – whose last album, 2016’s Let Them Eat Chaos (YouTube playlist), was nominated for the Mercury prize – is known for her chest-thumping, rousing statements. But on The Book of Traps and Lessons (YT pl), she takes a macro view of people (in one breath-catching moment she counts (YT): “7.2 billion humans … 7.3 billion humans …”, and on), before zooming right in to the smallest of intimacies. On Three Sided Coin (YT), she captures the current turbulence of the UK, a nation living “in the mouth of a breaking storm”; and then, quickly, the track unspools into the softer-edged I Trap You (YT), a meditation on a broken-down relationship. (The Guardian)

As noted by Stephen Thompson on the latest NPR New Music Friday, you could read the lyrics as the poems they are (Genius), but you'd miss her hypnotic delivery (album on Soundcloud, though the first track is only a short sample), and the sparse backing music (Discogs album details).

Speaking of her delivery, here's more of Kate Tempest live: And her debut album and an early single, Bad Place for a Good Time, on Bandcamp, though Everybody Down only has two songs to stream in preview, so here's official audio in a YouTube playlist. Also, previously.
posted by filthy light thief (6 comments total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
This is one of the best love songs I've ever heard.
posted by Pendragon at 7:52 AM on June 19, 2019

Europe is Lost goes down as the most prescient song of 2016. Runner-up is Radiohead's Burn the Witch. :'(
posted by simra at 12:04 PM on June 19, 2019 [1 favorite]

Excited to hear this through, I love her previous work.
posted by salt grass at 12:41 PM on June 19, 2019

This is completely captivating. A few seconds into track 1 and I’m stuck listening to the whole thing. How could you not?
posted by ElliotH at 6:03 PM on June 19, 2019

I love Kate Tempest. i saw her at a club in Seattle two years ago doing Let Them Eat Chaos and it was wonderful. I'm so incredibly busy right now and I just want to give this proper attention, so I've literally made an appointment on my calendar for Sunday to sit with it.
posted by taterpie at 1:10 AM on June 20, 2019 [1 favorite]

This is an amazing thing. It's completely absorbing
posted by angrycat at 6:36 AM on June 22, 2019

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