Kate Tempest is one of those people that make life look easy. In her mid twenties, she’s a published playwright, novelist, poet and recording artist. Don’t you just hate people like that? Her music is quite lovely, just to make things worse. See what you think of the results below and find out more about her here.
If you have enough technique, there are things that are easy to do with rap. You can bounce across a beat and make the whole thing jump. You can tell jokes. You can fire out one liners. You can dazzle and excite and hide all kinds of flaws in the speed of your delivery. But what only a few of the very best can do is express emotion—say something and mean it, deep down, with no flinching or tricks.
If you’re trying to figure out what makes Kate Tempest special that’s probably as good a place to start as any, and with brand new track, “Bad Place For A Good Time,” she reminds us again just how much feeling can be wrung out of four and half minutes of rhyming. Over a falling piano, a stripped back beat and some buzzing, restless bass, Tempest tells us another little story—of a city, of being lost, of watching life from behind glass, of finding something to hang on to, a way forward, hope in amongst indifference—and makes it seem like she’s talking just to you. Producer Dan Carey continues to develop his understanding of this unique vocalist, leaving ample room for the voice, lifting it up to new heights. The single is completed by “Stink,” taken from one the records of 2014, “Everybody Down.” A record of relationship conflict taken from the middle of the song cycle, an abstracted, bumping, angular piece, it also features guest vocals from Willy Mason.
2014 was a remarkable year for Kate Tempest. She released her first solo album, ‘Everybody Down,’ which was not only nominated for the Mercury Music Prize, but was many commentators’ favourite to win it. She found herself selected for the Poetry Society’s Next Generation Poets and she also released a new print collection of work, ‘Hold Your Own.’ In addition she has toured extensively and blown away audiences with an infectious combination of skill, passion, emotion and raw enthusiasm. With “Bad Place For A Good Time” she shows, simply and quite clearly, just how much potential remains to be tapped. Keep listening.