London lass with tales to tell
“I’ve got a half cup of hope and I sip it slow”, rhymes south London saviour Speech Debelle plaintively on ‘Better Days’, a slow-burning, Micachu-featuring slice of portentous pop that’s both unsettlingly gloomy and joyously uplifting. Filling in the gaps left by Burial on the off-kilter psychogeographic map of London, Speech may well have recorded most of her debut in Australia, but it sounds like it sprang from the murk and majesty of the capital. As impressive as her gossamer-light voice layered over the strings and breakbeats on ‘Bad Boy’ is, Speech can do upbeat as well as down; try the animated ‘Spinnin’’, ‘The Key’’s jazzy old-school and ‘Live & Learn’’s folk flavoured acousti-funk. One to seriously watch.