Oh the wonders of youth. Lianne La Havas is a 22 year singer and multi instrumentalist from London who we are told has a background that draws equally from Jamaica and Greece. She is one of those singers who oozes confidence and ease and her recent sassy appearance on Jools Holland (please check it out) led one of the main acts Bon Iver to offer her a support slot on his European tour, but more importantly captivated all who witnessed it. There has been the odd accusation that she is the new "Corrine Bailey Rae" however that does both singers a great disservice not least since Ms Rae continues to develop brilliantly and that Ms La Havas is very much her own artist. Those with a penchant for these things will have noted well before the "Later" appearance the various performances of La Havas with the third track on the EP "Age" on the video site Black Cab Sessions and also "No Room for Doubt" on La Blogothèque. Clearly she is not influence free and on this excellent short EP you can pick up a touch of the dearly departed Amy Winehouse circa her debut album "Frank" where the La Havas song "Age" ploughs that relationship furrow that Winehouse nailed on her debut. La Havas is however smart enough to cast her influences more widely than this with the jazzy cover of the wonderful Everything Everything's "Final form" showing her firmly in the tradition of soul singers like Lauren Hill or Erykah Badu.
The sparkling highlight here is the EPs centrepiece track "Lost and Found". This is slow burning uber classy soul ballad which will give Alicia Keys sleepless nights when she hears it. Yes its that good and the vocal by La Havas screams maturity and inner depth. Equally the slowly strummed opener "No room for doubt" which is a captivating duet with the American folk singer Willy Mason is a little polished diamond with its gentle refrain of "We all make mistakes we do, I learn from you" echoing well beyond the songs final notes. Finally the deep sultry soul of "Night school" proves that La Havas has it within her to develop into a star who could capture audiences on both sides of the Atlantic and could be a one women catapult for our flagging export trade. You may also wish to note that a sign up to La Havas website will also unlock another gift namely her free EP "Live in LA".
For any new singer standing in the footsteps of the never-ending pool of great female musical talent of previous and current generations is massively daunting and it appears from a recent interview with the Observer that La Havas did suffer a crisis of confidence. As she stated "Before, I felt like an impostor; I didn't feel I had my own style. I've always had this identity thing ...Now I feel certain about what I like and what I do and it's such a relief." The latter fact is confirmed in spades on "Lost and Found" and we should be thankful that the doubts were expelled because in the shape of Lianne La Havas emerges a very special talent.
Lianne La Havas is just wonderful. She has a great voice and is a very good gutaist. This E.P. also highlights that she is alsoan excellent songwriter too! There is a slight worry though, she had a flurry of songwriting inspired by a bad relationship, I hope that she doesn't feel that she needs to have serial relationships with guys who treat her badly to get inspiration.
Anyone who has seen Ms La Havas live will testify to he stage presence and preformance, most people will have been introduced to her via the excellent and ever more necessary Later with Jools Holland where she sang Age, which is feature on this disc.
As an introductio to an artist this is a great E.P. a second E.P. is also available, with lead track Forget which I have heard live and is available on her Live in L.A. E.P. free from her website [...] and her debut album is die in March, I can't wait.
Oh, how do I even go about telling you just how beautiful Liane's voice is? Smoky, smooth, soulful, silky... just gorgeous. And the songs? Well, No Room For Doubt was the track that I heard first, and it was on the strength of that track that I bought Lost & Found. The duet with Willy Mason is really unusual and one which I think works really well. Lost and Found makes me cry. Age makes me smile. Night School reminds me of Sade for some reason, and Final Form makes me long for a longer album.
Seriously one to watch, Liane so should have at least appeared in the Sound of 2011 shortlist - was shocked that she wasn't.
Luckily Lianne escaped winning the BBC Sound of 2012 final five (although Zane Lowe rather pointedly played her immediately after the winner was announced). That gives her time to produce an album which if it manages to match her debut EP will be a highlight of 2012. Check out You Tube videos if you have any doubts about a real talent about to emerge.
Having seen her live and bought all of her releases, (and love her voice), I was disappointed in the way her album has been over-engineered. For instance, "Au cinema" as an accoustic track is outstanding on the EP, but I was disappointed with its' production on the album - I will keep on supporting her however!
Soulful, talented, gets you right in the core. Hope she comes back on the scene soon! This song is one of my favourites from the album. Get the single but it's worth investing more for the album. I've listened to it on repeat a million times!
Stunning vocals, soaring sensual. Pained and playful lyrics expressing a maturity way beyond her years, priceless diamond: I can't wait for the album. The strength of each track suggests there's plenty more in store.