Still not discovered the incredible, primal soul-pop of Edinburgh's LAW? Well, you've no excuse now as her debut 'Haters and Gangsters' EP is available to stream in full and download for free today. LAW is also currently on tour with Young Fathers.
"One puff is all that you'll get" 'Haters' LAW
"All good music is soul music." Wise words from Edinburgh resident Lauren Holt - the voice behind LAW and debut EP 'Haters and Gangsters'. Having already caught the eye of those in the know with the darkly hued primal soul-pop of last year's stand out track 'Hustle' and most recently with 'Haters', LAW's EP, (out today and available for free download via showlovepeoplenowkiss), continues in a similar vein but is ready to capture the wider world's attention.
"I see the beauty in darkness, the mystery and sickness of it" says LAW of the menacing, pulsating, seven track offering. "I am much more interested in so called dis-functional people, because in the words of Dylan they've 'nothing left to conceal'. I want the darkness inside of me to produce something that is rooted in feeling: Soul music. I try to write lyrics that are rooted in something, whether it be personal experience or the experience of someone I have imagined. I don't want to be precise. I want to emphasise the murkiness of it all."
Murky is definitely a quality reflected in the production of lead track 'Haters', a fuzzy number whose cyclic momentum rolls over a clattering percussive back bone and that voice - a subdued yet powerful, intoxicating and deep siren call. A unifying call, especially when it comes to the addictive refrain "fickle sickle fickle sickle ya yaa".
Making our way further into the 'Haters and Gangsters' EP we come across the sharper focus of 'Number One', a densely layered track that LAW describes as "a tall tower," whose layered vocal tones and semi sexual lyrics - "she sprays" and "you're my shorty now" - are all about "the subversion of the usual."
A brief, almost interlude comes with 'Coins For You'. Recorded in LAW's living room on a 4 track it finds her deep voice twisting words around abrupt autoharp strums (a favoured instrument on this EP, as she rightly points out "When was the last time you heard an autoharp over a hip hop beat?" Although that does kick in on the EP's following number 'Treasurer'). At under two minutes it passes in the blink of an eye, but that is the point says LAW "I was trying to embody frustration. I was trying to embody the beauty of the instant."
'Scrambled' soon changes the pace with a gambolling dancehall beat that delivers half sentimental lyrics sung to a wonderfully jarring gentle melody before we reach the arguable EP highlight halfway through, where we get an elongated pause before a blood rushing release of "play it down yo/ break it down slow". EP closer 'OG' brings out another side still. "We recorded this the same day as 'Number One' so I was in the mood where I wanted to do something that was very different to what I had already done that day" says LAW. "I was listening to a lot of reggae at that time, so imagined a reggae trio singing this melody. One of my favourite songs is 'The Man I Love' by Billie Holiday, there's this poignant part when she sings, 'I'll understand', so when I go 'I'll be the one to understand' it's in reference to a sung sentence that can make me cry on the bus. I wanted to write a love song about more than just my boyfriend!"
A brave, addictive and utterly distinctive listen, 'Haters and Gangsters' is out now.
LAW is touring the UK in February with Young Fathers.
LAW Tour Dates (supporting Young Fathers):
Tues 4 Feb Manchester Deaf Institute
Wed 5 Feb Liverpool East Village
Thurs 6 Feb Leeds Belgrave Music Hall
Fri 7 Feb Sheffield The Plug
Sat 8 Feb Norwich The Arts Centre
Sun 9 Feb Leicester Scholar Bar
Mon 10 Feb Brighton Green Door Store
Wed 12 Feb Bristol Louisiana
Thurs 13 Feb London Electrowerkz
Fri 14 Feb Dublin Twisted Pepper
Listen to 'Haters and Gangsters' here: