Lily Allen’s lush new songs show off her sensitive side

‘Three’ and ‘Higher’ will feature on new album 'No Shame' which is set for release this June

Since she first swaggered out of Myspace with her ska-lite west London sounds well over a decade ago, Lily Allen has been a British institution. Speaking to the foul mouthed, politically engaged teenager within us all, Allen was the quintessentially English answer to glossy American popstars who were sold on hair extensions and fondness for leather chaps rather than personality. You were highly unlikely to hear Britney Spears candidly talking about selling pills in Ibiza, but Lily? Lily most definitely would.

Now a 30-something mother of two, Lily Allen has grown up and her music has matured with her. Speaking to Julie Adenuga on Beats 1 about her new album ‘No Shame’, which is set for release in June, she revealed that the record has been made without meddling from her label. “There haven’t been any outside sources telling me what’s right and wrong, what’s going to work for radio and what isn’t, so that’s really great. That also means when it comes out, it’s my fault.”

What we get then is pure Lily 2018. ‘Higher’ is a lush downbeat ballad that owes as much to Frank Ocean as it does the current incarnation of Bon Iver. Gone is the bolshie snark of 2014’s ‘Sheezus’ and in it’s place elegant cloud-rap beats. Lily was never one to shy away from personal stories in her music, but ‘Three’ – a piano led tribute to her daughter – is such a genuine expression of a mother’s love, that it puts it in a different league from her former cynicism-laced confessions. Add these to last year’s excellent Giggs-featuring ‘Trigger Bang’ and ‘No Shame’ looks set to be one of the most interesting releases of the summer.