Two of the UK’s most promising stars and recognisable faces — Loyle Carner and Jorja Smith — have come together for their much-awaited first collaboration. With both releasing their debut albums to much critical praise and garnering huge fan followings, it’s hard to still call either artist ‘up and coming.’ This feature was a combination that always seemed destined to happen and the track is exactly what you would expect.
Loyle brought his typical brand of personal lyrics, reminiscing on his past struggles and the people around him. The themes of the song can be summarised in one line from the chorus: “a lot of people that I wish I knew then.” He talks about how everyone around him now keeps him strong, wishing he could have had such supportive friends all the way through his life and the hardships he has faced.
Loyle reminisces not just on his life but also on his music career, with a nod to Roots Manuva’s ‘Dreamy Days’ as well as ‘Ain’t Nothing Changed’ a single from his debut album. The beat is produced by Jordan Rakei and is comprised mostly of piano and drums, adding to the introspective vibe of the song. It sits on the boundary between happy and sad and feels like it would act as a nice conclusion to his upcoming album alongside recent releases, ‘Ottolenghi’ and ‘You Don’t Know’, reflecting back on where he’s come from to where he is now.
Jorja comes in for the first half of the chorus, her voice sombre and emotive as she repeats vocal swells, allowing Loyle to take over. It might have been interesting for Jorja to have tried rapping as she has displayed in the past such as on ‘Lifeboats’, in order to increase the interaction between the pair but her contributions filled out the beat well to create a mood. Overall as I said the song is what you would it expect its good and the pair worked well together however neither seem to be pushing themselves stylistically or thematically. Both seem to be very much occupying the same space they have in prior releases and it might be nice to soon see a bit more variety from both artists.