Over the next few days, Live4ever will be shining the spotlight on some of our favourite albums and tracks of 2021 so far – today’s highlight comes from Little Simz.
On the face of it, it’s been a good few years professionally for Little Simz.
Grey Area delivered a 2019 Mercury Prize nomination, and could’ve considered itself a shoe-in had it not had the misfortune to sit on one of the award’s strongest ever shortlists, one also containing the likes of Idles, slowthai, Fontaines D.C., Anna Calvi, black midi and eventual winner, Dave.
The announcement of its follow-up Sometimes I Might Be Introvert in April however brought with it in the lead, quasi title-track themes of turmoil and artistic conflict.
“Simz the artist or Simbi the person?,” she ponders. “To you I’m smiling but really I’m hurting/I dedicate my life and gave my heart over twenty-something years/Left wondering how I even feel.”
“But was it even worth it? I bottle up and then spill it in verses/One day I’m wordless, next day I’m a wordsmith/Close to success but to happiness I’m the furthest.”
Despite the tumult, there’s not an ounce of doubt in the music. Introvert radiates with confidence; in its production, in the subjects it addresses, in the ease of delivery which equally made the 2-minute lockdown nonchalance of ‘might bang, might not’ one of last year’s best records.
Above all this, and the singles which followed, have an unerring sense of vitality. 2021 may yet be awaiting the album which defines it.