Lianne La Havas
Paring her sound back to little more than her skillful guitar-playing and deep, husky voice, the London songwriter explores the aftermath of a breakup with confidence and repose.
Lianne La Havas is about the singer’s whirlwind relationship with a musician in Los Angeles, and a breakup that spurred a move home to London to piece together the music she’d been working on and take stock of her own personal growth. It’s a theme that she’s touched on before—portioning an ex’s thoughtlessness into heartbreaking parts is some of her bread and butter—but here it comes into focus through sparse instrumentation and a complicated rendering of the mental flux that comes with realizing it’s time to move on.
“Knowing my head from my tail isn’t easy for me,” she admits on “Please Don’t Make Me Cry,” an ambling highlight that features Nick Hakim playing the record’s only electric guitar. Later, on the beatific “Sour Flower,” La Havas offers a thesis: “I’m done settling for so much less than I knew I deserved.