Glistening synth-pop imbued with icy longing forms the crux of this splendid offering from Holly Lapsley Fletcher.
On her major label debut, the 19-year-old – who is signed on the same recording company as the biggest name in music today, Adele – delivers a collection of tunes that are as vast in sound, as they are in emotions.
But above all, the strength of Long Way Home is staked upon the deft manipulation of electronic music and a soundscape that’s inherently organic.
The standout lead single Hurt Me for one, takes on a relatively minimal yet expansive rhythm, and wraps it over emotive words.
“If you’re gonna hurt me, why don’t you hurt me a little bit more?” the Merseyside-born Låpsley asks over clever interpolation of shimmering production and economical piano.
If anything, the album is at its peak when it craftily disregards the melodies. The sublimely bizarre Station and effortlessly ethereal Cliffs rivet with mostly just Låpsley’s near-androgynous vocals.
But perhaps Long Way Home could have done with a little less caution. Listening to the entire album can be disconcerting at first, what with the aching yearning that percolates most of its running time.
When Låpsley abandons that carefully crafted old soul though, the record takes on an unexpectedly jubilant turn.
Like on the flighty Operator (He Doesn’t Call Me), the songstress delivers a fun vintage-flavoured number with so much conviction, it transcends decades.
Long Way Home