Label: EMI Records
Released: 19th February 2021
There’s always one specific moment at a festival when everything seems inexplicably magical. The sun is setting, distant beats are felt underfoot, and everybody is descending into total merriment. It’s been sorely missed this past year – many of us are clamouring for a smidgen of that enchantment. On SG Lewis’ debut album, he’s somehow managed to successfully bottle that moment up. ‘times’ is a love letter to the midsummer heat and the euphoria of those late nights, and it’s every bit as captivating as you would expect.
Inspired by a deep dive into the glittering world of disco in 70s New York, ‘times’ borrows from the pure elation of the period. The multitalented artist seamlessly slides from track to track, testing the waters in a dozen different refreshing pools. From the absolute funk of the opening track ‘Time’ right to the dizzyingly atmospheric finale ‘Fall’, the album is immersive from start to finish. And what a world to immerse yourself into – it’s electric and tinged with the neon of the early hours. Lewis’ vivid lyricism paints a glimmeringly intoxicating scene, merging gorgeously with his star-studded collaborators’ golden touches. The highlight, of course, is ‘One More’ featuring Nile Rodgers – it’s as dazzling as you’d imagine, nestled incredibly at the intersection of floor-filler and jazz-enthused, swirling beats.
Every moment of the album is slick and visionary, and each track is similarly hypnotic. ‘All We Have’ (featuring Lastings) builds in intensity to almost unbearable levels before giving way to electrifying release. The pure exhilaration of the album is a complete testament to Lewis’ immense production skills. There’s something intensely feel-good about ‘times’ – its unspoken encouragement to throw caution to the wind and embrace pure joy is irresistible. In a way, it feels like a suspension in time; there’s something addictive in the basslines and synth. On ‘times’, there’s an unshakeable sense that SG Lewis is grabbing your hand and dragging you straight to the centre of the dancefloor – leave your inhibitions at the door.