Loyle Carner – Yesterday’s Gone

Back in August 2017 I briefly commented on the Mercury Music Prize nominees and threw some out and added some in, this album was actually nominated and I kept it in because it is a fine album.

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Loyle Carner is a stage name, his actual name is Benjamin Gerard Coyle-Larner, which means that his stage name is a spoonerism of his double barrelled surname, that amuses me.

Carner played his first official gig at The Button Factory in Dublin, Ireland in October 2012 supporting MF Doom. He released his first EP in September 2014, titled A Little Late, which was well received and he supported Joey Badass on his UK tour and went on to play the 2015 UK festival season, including Glastonbury Festival. He went on tour and collaborated with poet and spoken-word artist Kate Tempest in late 2015 and  In October 2015 he played on Huw Stephens’ BBC Radio 1 show as part of their Piano Sessions series. In late August 2016, he supported Nasin his show at the O2 Academy Bristol. Then, in 2017, he released his first album.

It wasn’t until I saw the Mercury Music Prize nominations that Carner came to my attention and it was the opening track of the album that was the first thing I heard. Isle Of Arran. 

The song title refers to island in Scotland’s Firth of Clyde known for its beautiful mountainous scenery. Carner explained to BBC Radio 1’s Annie Mac: “I spent a lot of time there. It’s where my granddad grew up, it a little island off the top of Scotland and there’s not much to do there. It’s a very long journey (from London) but it’s beautiful, it’s secluded.” ’The track samples 60’s cut The Lord Will Make A Way by S.C.I Youth Choir in what must be perceived as an ironic way as the song counter lyrically with “Standby, didn’t need no help from no damn guy / Man by, I’ve been making waves all my damn life.” The track has emotional and philosophical depth as it discusses why today’s youths see religion as futile when their world is one of despair, inequality and lack of prospects. We can go all the way back to 1977 and God Save The Queen by the Sex Pistols to hear:

There is no future in England’s dreaming
Don’t be told what you want, don’t be told what you need
There’s no future, no future, no future for you

Though more personal and contemplative, the message is the same 40 years on.

Listening to the album sequentially there is the sense of being let in to view a life, with conversations taking place between and during tracks and stories being told, also, it’s pretty catchy in places, exemplified below with No CD.

The knowledge that Carner has been diagnosed with ADHD and Dyslexia informs the listener when listening to this track, at least to some degree, but what comes across through the entire album and various bits of interviews I’ve watched is the authenticity of Carner. He is not shouting about bitches or gold chains or guns, but about the realities of his life and how they affect him and others like him, told in his own accent and with what feels like genuine sincerity.

No. Title Length
1. “The Isle of Arran” 3:34
2. “Mean It in the Morning” 2:39
3. “+44” 0:48
4. “Damselfly” (featuring Tom Misch) 2:52
5. “Ain’t Nothing Changed” 3:10
6. “Swear” 0:34
7. “Florence” (featuring Kwes) 3:04
8. “The Seamstress (Tooting Masala)” 2:31
9. “Stars & Shards” 3:04
10. “No Worries” (featuring Jehst and Rebel Kleff) 4:30
11. “Rebel 101” 0:28
12. “No CD” (featuring Rebel Kleff) 4:16
13. “Mrs. C” 3:22
14. “Sun of Jean” 5:14
15. “Yesterday’s Gone” 2:37

Sampha won the Mercury Music Prize for 2017 but in many ways that doesn’t mater as it brought this album exposure to a wider audience just by being nominated. I’m glad I made the decision to get a copy for myself as I’m pretty confident it is going to get a lot of spins.

Rating: 8.7

Mercury Music Prize – Comment

 

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alt-j – ‘Relaxer’ – Maybe
I quite liked this and it probably deserves a place on this shortlist, however, points off for including a version of ‘House of the rising son’. Why? Filler.

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Blossoms – ‘Blossoms’
This is bollocks.

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Dinosaur – ‘Together, As One’
This is great and a real find as I’d never heard of it. Jazz with some electronic flourishes, nice arrangements, not too much dissonance. I might buy this one.

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Ed Sheeran – ‘÷’
I have no idea what this is doing here, it’s just Ed Sheeran being Ed Sheeran isn’t it? Yes, it sold bucket loads, but according to the prize itself: The main objectives of the Prize are to recognise and celebrate artistic achievement, provide a snapshot of the year in music and to help introduce new albums from a range of music genres to a wider audience. Now it does fall into the first two of those categories but not the last, and to be honest, I listened to it and I will be quite happy to live the rest of my life and never hear it again.

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Glass Animals – ‘How to Be a Human Being’
This is OK, quite pleasant I suppose, not particularly ground breaking but it’s quite listenable.

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J Hus – ‘Common Sense’
This is really very good, I like it. There’s autotune and then there’s creative autotune and where it’s used here it’s the latter, which I can live with. There’s some really good backing tracks and some good angry bits as well as plenty of melody. Yup, it’s good.

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Kate Tempest – ‘Let Them Eat Chaos’
Nope nope nope. I saw her Glastonbury set and didn’t like it. This is poetry put to music and it hardly ever really works, certainly doesn’t here. Best of luck to her but it’s of not for me.

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Loyle Carner – ‘Yesterday’s Gone’
This is very good, and there is an argument that can be made that this is also poetry over music in places as well, except that is a crap argument as this is an MC not a poet. I’d definitely recommend giving this a listen.

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Sampha – ‘Process’
I heard some of this album on a car journey at the weekend and it wasn’t what I was expecting at all, I’d assumed it was Hip Hop, my bad, it’s not that at all. Sampha has a really interesting voice and I guess if you had to file in a genre you could easily go for Electronic.

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Stormzy – ‘Gang Signs & Prayer’
So this is Grime, or that’s what I read. It’s actually pretty good, a bit angry in places but that’s ok. ‘Blinded by your grace’ is a beautiful thing and ‘Big For Your Boots’ is good.

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The Big Moon – ‘Love in the 4th Dimension’
Pretty good. I don’t particularly feel there’s anything here that I haven’t heard before, but if you like indie pop, then you’ll find this to be a very good addition to your listening.

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The xx – ‘I See You’
I’ve been unsure about The XX for a while, I sort of don’t know what they are, but listening to this album makes it clearer for me.  I can now be sure that it is not something I am a big fan of, but I can see the appeal.

If it were me then I would drop 6 of these at least, so for completeness I have to replace them. So this would be my list:
alt-j – ‘Relaxer’ – Maybe
Dinosaur – ‘Together, As One’
J Hus – ‘Common Sense’
Loyle Carner – ‘Yesterday’s Gone’
Sampha – ‘Process’
Stormzy – ‘Gang Signs & Prayer’
Kelly Lee Owens ‎– Kelly Lee Owens
Forest Swords ‎– Compassion
Slowdive – Slowdive
Roger Goula ‎– Overview Effect
Max Richter – Three Worlds: Music from Woolf Works
Public Service Broadcasting – Every Valley

I’ll be playing a track from each of these on the radio show 5 when I get around to recording it.

 

Mercury Music Prize Shortlist

The Mercury Music Prize shortlist was announced yesterday and I have none of these albums, not a single one. So I am now going to go away and listen to them all and come back in a new post with a yes/no opinion on all of them, because I can,  here is the list:

alt-j – ‘Relaxer’ – Maybe
Blossoms – ‘Blossoms’
Dinosaur – ‘Together, As One’
Ed Sheeran – ‘÷’
Glass Animals – ‘How to Be a Human Being’
J Hus – ‘Common Sense’
Kate Tempest – ‘Let Them Eat Chaos’
Loyle Carner – ‘Yesterday’s Gone’
Sampha – ‘Process’
Stormzy – ‘Gang Signs & Prayer’
The Big Moon – ‘Love in the 4th Dimension’
The xx – ‘I See You’

Last years list is below, actually no, let’s go crazy, all the past winners and nominees are below and I’ve marked in brackets who I would have chosen to win, like this (1):

1992 Primal Scream – Screamadelica (1)
Barry Adamson – Soul Murder
Erasure – Chorus
Jah Wobble’s Invaders of the Heart – Rising Above Bedlam
The Jesus and Mary Chain – Honey’s Dead
Bheki Mseleku – Celebration
Saint Etienne – Foxbase Alpha
Simply Red – Stars
U2 – Achtung Baby
John Tavener & Steven Isserlis – The Protecting Veil
Young Disciples – Road to Freedom

1993 Suede – Suede (1)
Apache Indian – No Reservations
The Auteurs – New Wave
Gavin Bryars – Jesus’ Blood Never Failed Me Yet
Dina Carroll – So Close
East 17 – Walthamstow
PJ Harvey – Rid of Me
New Order – Republic
Stereo MCs – Connected
Sting – Ten Summoner’s Tales
Stan Tracey – Portraits Plus

1994 M People – Elegant Slumming
Blur – Parklife (1)
Ian McNabb – Head Like a Rock
Shara Nelson – What Silence Knows
Michael Nyman – The Piano Concerto/MGV
Primal Scream – Give Out But Don’t Give Up
The Prodigy – Music for the Jilted Generation
Pulp – His ‘n’ Hers
Take That – Everything Changes
Therapy? – Troublegum
Paul Weller – Wild Wood

1995 Portishead – Dummy (1 joint)
Guy Barker – Into the Blue
The Boo Radleys – Wake Up!
Elastica – Elastica
PJ Harvey – To Bring You My Love
Leftfield – Leftism
James MacMillan – Seven Last Words from the Cross
Van Morrison – Days Like This
Oasis – Definitely Maybe
Supergrass – I Should Coco
Tricky – Maxinquaye (1 Joint, I couldn’t possibly choose one over the other)

1996 Pulp – Different Class
Artists for War Child – Help
Black Grape – It’s Great When You’re Straight… Yeah
Peter Maxwell Davies/BBC Philharmonic – The Beltane Fire / Caroline Mathilde
Manic Street Preachers – Everything Must Go (1)
Mark Morrison – Return of the Mack
Oasis – (What’s the Story) Morning Glory?
Courtney Pine – Modern Day Jazz Stories
Underworld – Second Toughest in the Infants
Norma Waterson – Norma Waterson

1997 Roni Size/Reprazent – New Forms
The Chemical Brothers – Dig Your Own Hole
Beth Orton – Trailer Park
Primal Scream – Vanishing Point
The Prodigy – The Fat of the Land
Radiohead – OK Computer (1)
Spice Girls – Spice
Suede – Coming Up
John Tavener – Svyati
Mark-Anthony Turnage – Your Rockaby

1998 Gomez – Bring It On
4hero – Two Pages
Asian Dub Foundation – Rafi’s Revenge
Eliza Carthy – Red Rice
Catatonia – International Velvet
Cornershop – When I Was Born for the 7th Time
Massive Attack – Mezzanine (1)
Propellerheads – Decksandrumsandrockandroll
Pulp – This Is Hardcore
John Surman – Proverbs & Songs
The Verve – Urban Hymns
Robbie Williams – Life thru a Lens

1999 Talvin Singh – Ok
Thomas Adès – Asyla
Denys Baptiste – Be Where You Are
Black Star Liner – Bengali Bantam Youth Experience!
Blur – 13
The Chemical Brothers – Surrender
Faithless – Sunday 8PM
Manic Street Preachers – This Is My Truth Tell Me Yours
Beth Orton – Central Reservation (1)
Kate Rusby – Sleepless
Stereophonics – Performance and Cocktails
Underworld – Beaucoup Fish

2000 Badly Drawn Boy – The Hour of Bewilderbeast
Richard Ashcroft – Alone with Everybody
Coldplay – Parachutes
M. J. Cole – Sincere
Death in Vegas – The Contino Sessions (1)
The Delgados – The Great Eastern
Doves – Lost Souls
Helicopter Girl – How to Steal the World
Leftfield – Rhythm and Stealth
Nicholas Maw – Violin Concerto
Nitin Sawhney – Beyond Skin
Kathryn Williams – Little Black Numbers

2001 PJ Harvey – Stories from the City, Stories from the Sea (2, yes, a completely different numbering system all of a sudden)
Basement Jaxx – Rooty
Elbow – Asleep in the Back
Goldfrapp – Felt Mountain
Gorillaz – Gorillaz (nomination withdrawn at the request of the band)
Ed Harcourt – Here Be Monsters
Tom McRae – Tom McRae
Radiohead – Amnesiac (1)
Susheela Raman – Salt Rain
Super Furry Animals – Rings Around the World
Turin Brakes – The Optimist LP
Zero 7 – Simple Things

2002 Ms. Dynamite – A Little Deeper
Guy Barker – Soundtrack
The Bees – Sunshine Hit Me
David Bowie – Heathen
The Coral – The Coral
Doves – The Last Broadcast
The Electric Soft Parade – Holes in the Wall
Gemma Hayes – Night on My Side
Beverley Knight – Who I Am
Roots Manuva – Run Come Save Me (1)
Joanna MacGregor – Play
The Streets – Original Pirate Material

2003 Dizzee Rascal – Boy in da Corner
Athlete – Vehicles and Animals
Eliza Carthy – Anglicana
Coldplay – A Rush of Blood to the Head
The Darkness – Permission to Land
Floetry – Floetic
Soweto Kinch – Conversations with the Unseen
Lemon Jelly – Lost Horizons
The Thrills – So Much for the City
Martina Topley-Bird – Quixotic (1)
Radiohead – Hail to the Thief
Terri Walker – Untitled

2004 Franz Ferdinand – Franz Ferdinand
Basement Jaxx – Kish Kash
Belle & Sebastian – Dear Catastrophe Waitress (1)
Jamelia – Thank You
Keane – Hopes and Fears
Snow Patrol – Final Straw
Joss Stone – The Soul Sessions
The Streets – A Grand Don’t Come for Free
Ty – Upwards
Amy Winehouse – Frank
Robert Wyatt – Cuckooland
The Zutons – Who Killed…… The Zutons?

2005 Antony and the Johnsons – I Am a Bird Now
Bloc Party – Silent Alarm
Coldplay – X&Y
Hard-Fi – Stars of CCTV
Kaiser Chiefs – Employment
KT Tunstall – Eye to the Telescope
M.I.A. – Arular (1)
Maxïmo Park – A Certain Trigger
Polar Bear – Held on the Tips of Fingers
Seth Lakeman – Kitty Jay
The Go! Team – Thunder, Lightning, Strike
The Magic Numbers – The Magic Numbers

2006 Arctic Monkeys – Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not (1)
Isobel Campbell and Mark Lanegan – Ballad of the Broken Seas
Editors – The Back Room
Guillemots – Through the Windowpane
Richard Hawley – Coles Corner
Hot Chip – The Warning
Muse – Black Holes & Revelations
Zoe Rahman – Melting Pot
Lou Rhodes – Beloved One
Scritti Politti – White Bread Black Beer
Sway – This Is My Demo
Thom Yorke – The Eraser

2007 Klaxons – Myths of the Near Future
Arctic Monkeys – Favourite Worst Nightmare
Basquiat Strings with Seb Rochford – Basquiat Strings
Bat for Lashes – Fur and Gold
Dizzee Rascal – Maths + English
Maps – We Can Create
New Young Pony Club – Fantastic Playroom
Fionn Regan – The End of History
Jamie T – Panic Prevention
The View – Hats Off to the Buskers
Amy Winehouse – Back to Black (1)
Young Knives – Voices of Animals and Men

2008 Elbow – The Seldom Seen Kid
Adele – 19
British Sea Power – Do You Like Rock Music?
Burial – Untrue
Estelle – Shine
The Last Shadow Puppets – The Age of the Understatement
Laura Marling – Alas, I Cannot Swim
Neon Neon – Stainless Style
Robert Plant & Alison Krauss – Raising Sand
Portico Quartet – Knee Deep in the North Sea
Radiohead – In Rainbows (1)
Rachel Unthank and the Winterset – The Bairns

2009 Speech Debelle – Speech Therapy (1)
Bat for Lashes – Two Suns
Florence and the Machine – Lungs
Friendly Fires – Friendly Fires
Glasvegas – Glasvegas
Lisa Hannigan – Sea Sew
The Horrors – Primary Colours
The Invisible – The Invisible
Kasabian – West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum
La Roux – La Roux
Led Bib – Sensible Shoes
Sweet Billy Pilgrim – Twice Born Men

2010 The xx – xx
Biffy Clyro – Only Revolutions
Corinne Bailey Rae – The Sea
Dizzee Rascal – Tongue n’ Cheek
Foals – Total Life Forever
I Am Kloot – Sky at Night (1)
Kit Downes Trio – Golden
Laura Marling – I Speak Because I Can
Mumford & Sons – Sigh No More
Paul Weller – Wake Up the Nation
Villagers – Becoming a Jackal
Wild Beasts – Two Dancers

2011 PJ Harvey – Let England Shake
Adele – 21
Anna Calvi – Anna Calvi
Elbow – Build a Rocket Boys!
Everything Everything – Man Alive
Ghostpoet – Peanut Butter Blues & Melancholy Jam (1)
Gwilym Simcock – Good Days at Schloss Elmau
James Blake – James Blake
Katy B – On a Mission
King Creosote & Jon Hopkins – Diamond Mine
Metronomy – The English Riviera
Tinie Tempah – Disc-Overy

2012 Alt-J – An Awesome Wave (? Dunno?)
Ben Howard – Every Kingdom
Django Django – Django Django
Field Music – Plumb
Richard Hawley – Standing at the Sky’s Edge
Michael Kiwanuka – Home Again
Lianne La Havas – Is Your Love Big Enough?
Sam Lee – Ground of its Own
The Maccabees – Given to the Wild
Plan B – ill Manors
Roller Trio – Roller Trio
Jessie Ware – Devotion

2013 James Blake – Overgrown
Arctic Monkeys – AM
David Bowie – The Next Day (1)
Disclosure – Settle
Foals – Holy Fire
Jake Bugg – Jake Bugg
Jon Hopkins – Immunity
Laura Marling – Once I Was an Eagle
Laura Mvula – Sing to the Moon
Rudimental – Home
Savages – Silence Yourself
Villagers – {Awayland}

2014 Young Fathers – Dead
Anna Calvi – One Breath
Bombay Bicycle Club – So Long, See You Tomorrow
Damon Albarn – Everyday Robots
East India Youth – Total Strife Forever
FKA twigs – LP1 (1)
GoGo Penguin – V2.0
Jungle – Jungle
Kate Tempest – Everybody Down
Nick Mulvey – First Mind
Polar Bear – In Each and Every One
Royal Blood – Royal Blood

2015 Benjamin Clementine – At Least for Now
Aphex Twin – Syro (1)
Gaz Coombes – Matador
C Duncan – Architect
Eska – Eska
Florence and the Machine – How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful
Ghostpoet – Shedding Skin
Róisín Murphy – Hairless Toys
Slaves – Are You Satisfied?
SOAK – Before We Forgot How to Dream
Wolf Alice – My Love Is Cool
Jamie xx – In Colour

2016 Skepta – Konnichiwa
Anohni – Hopelessness
Bat for Lashes – The Bride
David Bowie – Blackstar
Jamie Woon – Making Time
Kano – Made in the Manor
Laura Mvula – The Dreaming Room
Michael Kiwanuka – Love & Hate
Radiohead – A Moon Shaped Pool (1)
Savages – Adore Life
The 1975 – I Like It When You Sleep, for You Are So Beautiful yet So Unaware of It
The Comet Is Coming – Channel the Spirits