Details were scant at first. The Child Of Lov seemed to be just a chopped-and-screwed photo of some guy releasing gigantic soul tracks that deserved way more than anonymity. ‘Heal’ sounded like Robert Plant fronting The Isley Brothers at their fiercest; ‘Give Me’ was the kind of dirty, exciting funk Prince might still be making if anyone had the courage to tell him that three and a half minutes was quite enough jamming time, thanks. Then the pressures of promotion got the upper hand and we discovered that Lov is… Cole Williams, a nomad who travels between London, Paris and Amsterdam and a bedroom soul auteur with studio support from pop polymath Damon Albarn. Williams’ debut album ‘The Child Of Lov’ comes out on May 6, and it’s trailed by new single ‘Fly’, another great, whomping, meaty soul-funk cut. Given Williams’ wafer-thin frame, it’s all the more surprising to hear his voice as he comes on like Barry White, rumbling over crater-forming beats and electro-accordion loops and taking us “down to the river Jordan” like a hellfire preacher. This track lies somewhere between Alabama 3’s ‘Woke Up This Morning’ (used as the theme for The Sopranos) and Jamie Lidell (without the furry hat-wearing spectre of Jamiroquai circling) and it’s as righteous as an Al Green sermon.
Matthew Horton, writer