There are probably more spoken word artists in london releasing EPs or Albums this year than in this history of London, ever. Even more astonishing are the number of releases we can call ‘actually very good’ without the artist in question in hearing distance. Ghostpoet’s Peanut Butter Blues and Melancholy Jam was a time stealing beast of an album, and then there was Computers And Blues via the Streets which was… actually very good, both in the first three months. And like a Caligula Festival there’s still so many more to come. Here are a few you should either buy now or watch out for in the coming months…
RAYMOND ANTROBUS as SPEED CAMERA SHY
OUT: Late May.
Current title holder of ‘London’s hardest working poet,’ (running the ever excellent Chill Pill nights, his blog AND popular podcast HeadJob, and The St. Machievelli’s Orphanage as Head Principal. April Fool’s on the last one.) Raymond will be releasing his dubstep outfit ‘Speed Camera Shy’s first ep sometime late May under californian label Audio Gradient. Raymond has put the hours (as in, seemingly every waking moment. He’s been in my list of ‘People who make me feel very lazy’ for a year now) into his craft: there’s a lot of solid ground building under this man’s feet, seriously.
Check out his most recent video, ‘It’s Complicated’
‘I’d do anything to taste your tongue no matter where it’s been…’ TELL me you didn’t feel that?
MUSA OKWONGA as THE KING’S WILL
OUT: Late April
The ever prolific Okwonga teamed up with fellow etonian/producer Giles to make what is possibly the most ambitious concept electropoetry album of recent times. No joke, there’s an animated video accompanying every track. A VIDEO FOR EVERY TRACK. And there are nine tracks. When last did that happen? Oh yes, Beyonce’s B’Day Deluxe.
Scheduled for an April release, As The Power Fails bears diverse themes such as the daily grind, apathy, love, confidence and an ass load of politics, all delivered with the clarity, wit and eloqution of a BBC Neswnight episode. And any one who heard Musa’s poetry knows he pulls less punches than a late night pub brawl. There’s been a steady leak of videos on youtube leading up to release, the one below is by far the bestest:
‘LOVE, AGAINST HOMOPHOBIA.’
INDIGO WILLIAMS as INDIGO WILLIAMS
OUT: Now on iTunes.
The first I saw Indigo Williams I thought it the intensified angry/yell-y/shouty performance sprayed mace in the eyes of the well written spoken word on display. Admittedly, I have not seen her live since then, and was apprehensive about buying her EP despite all the good word of mouth running round the web (It’s called Growing Pains. I’s imagined the first track to go something like: ‘ARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRGH!’) One spare fiver later, I’m glad I did. An intelligent, gentle and assured debut collection, displaying that effortless lyrical skill that makes you forget your listening to a spoken word album, rather a mate whose words are like golden melted haagen daaz drizzled down your ears.
‘Everybody needs to be held sometimes even if it’s by the eyes’