After an explosive rise to fame as a teenager, when she first uploaded her minimal, mournful self-produced electronica to SoundCloud, Merseyside-born Holly Fletcher’s debut album Long Way Home was released to critical acclaim on XL in 2016. Her first proper gig was at Glastonbury, she’s since gone on to played Coachella, All Points East and countless other festivals.
Låpsley’s latest record confirms her maturity as a songwriter, storyteller and, above all, as a person. Cautionary Tales of Youth (2022) charts a course through the vicissitudes of Låpsley’s early twenties, laying bare an intense and emotionally challenging relationship, from its obsessive beginnings to the mental struggles following its disintegration. Holly has returned with a gripping romantic psychodrama, and along the way she plots the perfect harmony between her austere, downtempo beginnings and a longstanding love of pop.
The record draws on a wide range of influences, from Latin and Afrobeats to bass music; Drake to Kate Bush; Arthur Russell to UKG and warehouse raves. Cautionary Tales of Youth is a paean to joyful eclecticism, from the furtive, Burial-inspired garage beat, trance riff and huge chorus of ‘Hotel Corridors’ to the lilting piano, post-punk bass and jagged guitar on soaring ballad ‘Nightingale’; from to the shimmering synth of club-ready track ‘Levitate’ to the sample on ‘Say I’m What You Need’, which is borrowed from South African jazz composer Carlos Mombelli’s ‘Picasso’s Dove’. ‘Close to Heaven’ sees Låpsley collaborate with South African singer and composer Msaki for a more political meditation on Johannesburg, astutely playing on the city’s geography and demography.
Holly’s songwriting and topline skills are now highly sought after, and she has written for many artists including Jax Jones and Charlie XCX, with their single ‘Out Out’ going platinum in May 2022.
Låpsley is full of hope and excitement for the future –and itching to get out on the road again and share the new album with live audiences, especially since lockdown meant she was unable to tour Through Water.
“I’m taking forward the best things from these last few years. As a writer, as a performer, as a person, I’ve learned so much since I started eight years ago. I’m a lot more confident now –and I can’t wait to be able to share these experiences with audiences and perform this story for them.”
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