Låpsley is an electronic-pop artist from the Southport, UK (even if her voice does conjure up thoughts of winter-wastelands/wonderlands) and recently (January 5th) she put out her debut (label) EP, Understudy through XL Recordings – these guys are responsible for some rather top acts, including FKA Twigs, Jungle and Radiohead(Although, King Of Limbs was not very top, just sayin’) – which means that people will be expecting good things from Låpsley in the future. She has already gained a massive following thanks to her bedroom project EP, Monday, which is a simple and effective release that’s fun to listen to with its bouncy beats and cute textures from the synths. Hopefully, this means that people will place their expectations in the right hands.
What about Understudy though?! Understudy feels similar (initially), but treads larger, more refined ground and as such, feels like an ambitious EP by the end of track one. The beats feel meaningful on this release, for example, the gentle flutters of hi-hats on Falling Short add something simple but effective at expanding on the already expansive sound. There’s also Brownlow, which has some incredibly punchy percussions which add a nice precursor to the gorgeous twinkling synths in the chorus of this track.
This is another really strong point for this EP: the instrumentation is wonderful, blissful and at times nostalgic with the use of synths. Like the retro sounding synths that flare in and out during 8896, very cool. Couple this generally fun instrumentation with a voice that is accessible and beautiful, you’re on to a real winning number.
Let’s talk about 8896 some more: it’s very ambient and IDM at the same time with its quiet drum loops and graceful playing of piano keys – it all really harmonises with the vocal performance. It all comes together to feel, as I previously said, quite nostalgic. While the final track, Dancing,initially had me rather bored, it surprised me as it hit this surprisingly epic wall of, almost drone-like synths and it got me thinking where else Låpsley might take her material in in the future. It’s moments like that that create hype and show-off what an interesting composer Låpsley really is.
A great EP that proves that coming out from being a bedroom artist and onto a label does not compromise an artist’s desire for experimentation. Understudy is a calming and beautiful release that prepares listeners for one of the more interesting artists of 2015. Well done Låpsley, A+ and a few gold stars!