Two years ago, driving through Portugal, I stopped briefly at sea cliffs just past the popular beaches of Sesimbra. A small group of tourists were clambering up rock walls. They’d find a suitable platform before leaping, carefree, into the ocean, 8, 10, 12 metres beneath. One by one they’d disappear, swim to shore and start again.
My friends and I sat nearby for maybe an hour until the afternoon sun got the better of us. First one friend, then another, crossed to the ledge and dove calmly into the water. And then suddenly it was me. Alone. Shaking uncontrollably. Peering at the stony shoreline far below.
“It’s not easy letting go, it’s not that simple” sings Låpsley on her new EP These Elements. She is not referring to my hands that day as they gripped the cliff in terror. But Lapsley does know well those feelings of facing the unknown. Her brilliant debut Long Way Home addressed the turmoil of teenagehood; an evocative record filled with sharp synth-pop. These Elements swims the tides of life since; four years out in the open ocean. In Låpsley’s own words: “Emotional love, physical desire, depression and self-worth. Everything I’ve gone through in the last four years is in these four songs.”
Lapsley finds clarity in the complexity, her lyrics glide on crisp drum machine rhythms and plaintive synth melodies.
These Elements by Lapsley is out December 6 via XL Recordings/Remote Control Records.
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