Låpsley’s debut full-length album Long Way Home has the 19-year-old up and coming songstress Holly Lapsley Fletcher revel in a comfortable downbeat electronica which places her in the same music sector with names like James Blake. However, the young singer she also demonstrates a more soulful side that is often lacking in the industrial quality of Blake’s sound — something that perhaps makes Låpsley more relatable and commercially melodic.

Long Way Home by Låpsley Album Review

Låpsley has rightfully been compared to Adele and not only because, like Adele, she is releasing her first full-length album at the age of 19. Låpsley’s vocals bear an uncanny resemblance to Adele’s in the permeating emotional rawness, unique timbre and melismatic delivery. But they are also uniquely Låpsley’s, carried to a different degree of quirkiness by indie electronic instrumentation.

Thematically too Låpsley achieves a stirring depth by singing about heartache and love gone astray. The singer may be guilty of some familiar tropes and cliched motifs, but she is also wise beyond her years with lyrics that are as simple as they are moving. She quips, for example, on “Hurt Me,” one of her hit singles from the album, “If you’re gonna hurt me, why don’t you hurt me a little bit more?” With lyrics that strike a particularly powerful emotional chord, the young singer is honest and exciting to listen to.

Most of the songs take shape around simple piano chords, beats and synths, but there are also surprising moments where Låpsley gets extremely inventive with unlikely sounds, namely the dog barks and tongue clicks, which add another layer to the already ghostly, quirky sound of “Station.” For the most part, however, her melodies are simple and clear in their structure with vestiges of club music and surprising spectral lyricism.

Vocally, Låpsley is most impressive when she cleverly morphs her own voice on several tracks to trick the listener into believing she is working with guest artists when it is, in fact, the singer herself shifting the pitch of her voice. The 2014 single “Station,” which makes its way into the record, is most noticeably such a song, where Låpsley has us fooled she has paired with someone with vocals resembling Justin Vernon, for example, when she is quite simply exploring a more baritone aspect of her vocal range. Her voice is extremely multifaceted, capable of being both strident and sensuous — a quality that makes Låpsley a fresh and intriguing new artist.

Long Way Home is in many ways an unusual debut. It is not an album without its faults, but it is in impressive one nonetheless for its occasional spurts of originality and clarity. The record shows both maturity and desire to grow; it is both cohesive and edgy, but it is precisely for those distinct, opposing qualities that Låpsley won’t remain unnoticed. The young singer is causing a bit of a splash on the indie scene and seems to have to sound and voice for a more commercial stage, should she choose to take her career in such a direction, but first and foremost Long Way Home strikes as an extremely candid personal exploration of both sound and experience.

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