Label: Day One / Island Records
Released: 26th May 2023
The heavy, spectral piano that opens Lola Young’s latest project, ‘My Mind Wanders And Sometimes Leaves Completely’, is nothing short of deceiving. ‘Stream of Consciousness’ gives into beats that seem to pulse erratically, like racing thoughts. As Lola pours out every thought that scurries around her brain, she envelopes you in that anxiety – for better and for worse, she pleads that you stay by her side through it all.
The straight-talking, blunt delivery of Lola’s cut-open lyricism makes it feel as though she’s talking to mate, and it’s hard not to get caught up in that. There’s a bizarrely comforting sense of confession and trust; not so much as a sigh is censored, there’s no chance of holding back. Her distinctive vocals roll with sarcastic wit, dropping every cut down with an eye roll and an exhale. On ‘Resolve (Calling My Name)’, she laughs over her tendency to fall head over heels and overlook every red flag, to a buoyant, key-heavy, spacey soundscape.
‘Annabel’s House’ sees her vocals become increasingly soulful on a piano ballad that leaves every emotion on the table. It’s incredible to hear the control Lola have – as she treads the all-too-familiar ground of exasperation and lows or even the euphoria and love, she carefully flits between softly-spoken and shatteringly strong. ‘Pretty in Pink’ is a notably tender moment of sheer pop excellence, but the final notes of ‘Chill Out (Right Here Baby) see Lola’s lean on shiver-inducing strings as she reminds herself that she is always there for herself, always in her own corner. It’s a powerful moment of acceptance and conclusion that captures the project’s journey miraculously.
“You’ll never break through in pop music anyway,” Lola recalls an ex-lover telling her at one point on the project. In an exultant twist of fate, ‘My Mind Wanders And Sometimes Leaves Completely’ sees her do exactly that – Lola Young cements herself as a pop breakthrough for the ages.