Single Review: slowthai feat. James Blake, Mount Kimbie – feel away
Max Ingleby reviews slowthai’s latest single.
The Northampton rapper slowthai’s latest release finds him resolutely upstaged by his featured artists, James Blake and Mount Kimbie.
I haven’t had much time for slowthai since he made an absolute tit of himself on the telly; I find that a cheeky, endearing class-clown persona feels far less compelling after a very public toddler tantrum at the NME awards.
But he’s back with a solid run of singles, most of which are familiarly gritty and hard-hitting. The soft, introspective tone on display on ‘feel away’, however, is a surprising left turn, and not a particularly successful one.
Blake takes the reins and soars over the top of a lovely, dreamy piano melody
For a start, slowthai’s opening verse is simply underwhelming. I would say massively underwhelming, but I don’t think it warrants an adjective anywhere near that magnitude. It touches on themes of pregnancy, feeling trapped in relationships, and something about marshmallows and campfires – essentially, I’ve already forgotten what he was on about.
My attention, however, was fully held by the always-wonderful James Blake. A couple minutes into the song Blake takes the reins and soars over the top of a lovely, dreamy piano melody that calls to mind the Buddy Ross sample in Frank Ocean’s ‘Be Yourself’.
He also brings some wonderfully evocative lyrics to the table: “I leave the dent in my car / To remind me what I could have lost”
When slowthai comes back in to round off the track, you find yourself wishing he’d go away.
This isn’t slowthai’s lane, and you ending up feeling like Blake and Mount Kimbie were forced by their mum to bring their annoying little brother along. It’s just a shame that Blake wasted a very pretty little interlude on this otherwise forgettable track.