UK Poet/Emcee Kate Tempest's 2019 "The Book Of Traps and Lessons" Is Musically More Stark and Lyrically More Personal

Posted by Billyjam, July 22, 2019 09:15pm | Post a Comment
Snippet sampler of Kate Tempest's new The Book Of Traps and Lessons (deluxe CD version)

Kate Tempest just had a pretty hectic week that included performances on both sides of the Atlantic (including US network TV and major UK music festival) as well as doing interviews, all in support of the
talented British spoken word artist's brand new full-length The Book Of Traps And Lessons  (Deluxe CD version) .The poet/rapper, with emphasis on the poetry more than the hip-hop, is a refreshingly unique and powerful voice in contemporary popular music.

Last week when over in New York City her itinerary including a live performance of The Book Of Traps And Lessons track "Firesmoke" on Late Night With Seth Meyers. See video of that July 17th performance below. There is also video of her performing another new album track ("People's Faces") at the Paste magazine studios in NYC. After those and other stops in NYC last week, Tempest headed back to her native UK to be among the performers at the big four-day UK Bluedot Festival on the grounds of Jodrell Bank deep space observatory in Chesire.

Kate Tempest released her first album Everybody Down in 2014 and followed it up with her powerful sophomore album Let Them East Chaos (also on vinyl LP) on Lex Recods in 2016  At that time I reviewed the themed album, that was equal parts hip-hop album,and poetry audio book, noting how it was a an engaging collection of vividly told stories about the lives of seven different troubled London dwellers who all lived on the same street but don't know each other, yet each finds themselves awake at the exact same time of 4:18am as a storm beat down outside.

The antithesis of superficial flashy hip-hop, Tempest's spoken word tales are typically dark and engaging. Distinctly British in both her delivery and her subject Let Them Eat Chaos, via the lens of her seven troubled sleepless subjects with their mounting  life problems, Tempest examined topics ranging from broken relationships, alienation in the modern tech age, to coping with the economic fallout of gentrification.

In contrast to her first two albums, The Book Of Traps and Lessons on Rick Rubin's American label via different in two distinct ways. Musically it is less reliant on the beats and bass back drop, more stripped down so as to focus on her lyrics and delivery.  Content-wise it is less dark and more hopeful, as well as being more visceral and personal.

Rather than telling others' stories, Tempest opens up and shares many of her own. Consequently The Book Of Traps and Lessons (Deluxe CD vers) comes across as a powerful and more intimate piece of work. Check out the album tracks in the videos below as well as in the snippet album sampler video up above.

Kate Tempest' “Firesmoke” live on Late Night with Seth Meyers (July 17th 2019)

Kate Tempest' "People's Faces"  (July 16, 2019) @ Paste Magazine Studios - New York, NY

Kate Tempest' "Firesmoke" (Lyric Video) (2019)

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