Loyle Carner
Yesterday's Gone

Released: 20th January 2017
Label: AMF

If I was a betting man I would stake my home and entire life savings on Croydon-based rapper Loyle Carner gaining a Mercury Prize nomination for his debut album Yesterday’s Gone. From the moment you see the album cover and hear the gospel-led opener ‘The Isle Of Arran’ to the beautiful awe-inspiring title track that closes the album, you know you have something very special indeed in your possession.

Yesterday’s Gone is a deeply personal, honest and emotional album that takes the listener into the thoughts and life experiences of Loyle Carner; love, loss, death, loneliness and relationships. One of the things that makes this album stand out is the meaningful and vulnerable fashion in which these topics are dealt with, there is absolutely nothing fake here. Everyday life is captured in a way that probably hasn’t been done since The Streets first arrived on the scene, there is something within these songs that every listener will be able to relate to.

There are a plethora of highlights on the album and you simply have to dive in and indulge yourself in every word and beat you hear. A few gems include ‘Ain’t Nothing Changed’, an incredibly infectious tune addressing some of the struggles and responsibilities of life with mounting debts. ‘Swear’ is a 34 second interlude demonstrating the love between Loyle and his mother while ‘The Seamstress (Tooting Masala)’ deals with first-hand alcohol abuse set over a dark and moody tune that will instantly take over your emotions.

If, for some reason, you have yet to have your heart warmed by Loyle Carner then ‘Florence’ will be sure to see you welcome him into your life as he raps about wanting to make pancakes like his nan and imagining what his life would be like if he had a sister “Tell her eat her spinach and she’ll see the sky’s the limit”. Final mention goes to ‘Mrs C’, a beautiful, heartbreaking, emotional, inspirational, humble, vulnerable and comforting song written for a friend of Loyle’s whose mother was living with cancer.

Yesterday’s Gone is quite simply a truly great album that will appeal to all. Music should be beyond genres, and Loyle Carner has certainly gone a long way to giving the world an album that can be enjoyed by everyone.

Steve Tay

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