Five years after her second album Blood and 2020’s “Bittersweet”, British singer-songwriter Lianne La Havas announced the release of her new full-length. Lianne La Havas is out on July 17th via Warner Records and it is available to pre-order here. We already shared “Paper Thin“; “Can’t Fight” is a new excerpt.
She explains: “You know it’s not good, but you can’t you can’t not do it. People say if you’re having a hard time in a relationship, just leave. It’s so easy to say, but it’s so much more complicated than that. Because there’s two of you, and neither of you are perfect. And there are things that you’re learning along the way. So you think, Well, let me do a little bit of work and just see if we can get that feeling back – it’s possible because we do really love each other. So I guess at the time, I was convinced that yes, it’s hard, but we can get through this.”
Lianne La Havas’, Lianne’s third album and her first in five years and is an album of startling beauty and insight—made entirely on her own terms which has been quite a journey. In one sense, geographically: La Havas spent a lot of time moving back and forth between the UK and the States working on writing and exploring her own identity. As a result, ‘Lianne La Havas’ feels spacious and luminous. Its sunbaked sounds recall, in places, the Brazilian singer, songwriter, and guitarist Milton Nascimento (on “Seven Times”). You might also hear the curveball chords of Joni Mitchell and Jaco Pastorious’s jazz explorations (“Green Papaya”), or the puttering drums and inviting warmth of golden-era Al Green (“Read My Mind”). And throughout the record, there’s a sense of empowerment that has its roots in the crisp ‘90s R&B of Destiny’s Child.
‘Lianne La Havas is ten songs that span the arc of a love relationship. The album’s opener, ‘Bittersweet’ functions as a kind of an overture, setting out what follows, before the giddy, love-struck rush of ‘Read My Mind’. If these first few songs suggest a flower opening its petals, that’s no coincidence: “What plays a big role in the album is the idea of the life cycle of plants and nature—equating this journey with a seasonal thing that blooms, thrives, goes away, and comes back even stronger,” La Havas says. Over the five years it took for the album to come together, she found herself watching the changing foliage outside her window in south London, struck by how she was growing and changing herself—not always comfortably. “A flower has to dry up and die in order to be reborn,” she says. “You have to get to the rock bottom to rebuild yourself.”