Label: Mmm… Records
Released: 6th August 2021
After providing one of the standout moments on ‘God First’, the first solo project from Bombay Bicycle Club’s Jack Steadman, it seems like the logical next step for London rapper Barney Artist to join him for the whole thing this time around. Collaborating over the entire record, ‘The Locket’ proves that lightning can strike twice as the pair continue to bring out the best in each other.
From the very first beats of the title track on, ‘The Locket’ is the sound of sunshine. It manages to feel steeped in nostalgia even as it ushers in this summer of juicy freedom we’re all hanging on for, tracks like ‘Blowin Steam (Open Up Your Mind)’ packed full of the sort of easy-going charm that acts like A Tribe Called Quest have perfected over the years. In the wrong hands it might feel dated, but not here – instead ‘The Locket’ is a real meeting of masterminds, Barney’s rhymes gelling perfectly with that polished production of Jack. Influences and inspirations are wide and varied, with a huge dollop of classic 70’s soul running through ‘Déjà Vu’, rubbing shoulders with modern jazz as it bounces onwards and ever upwards. But with just a couple of guests dropping in rather than the first record’s walk-in centre vibe, there is a noticeably tighter feel to the record.
After the last couple of years, we’re owed a good time. This is a record that promises they will return, something that begs to be heard in packed parks with just the right amount of tins to hand and the smell of barbecues wafting lazily over the dusk air. Getting loaded to ‘The Locket’, that’s the dream right there.