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KATE TEMPEST

Kate Tempest

Unholy Elixir

    The past 18 months have been a whirlwind of activity for the London based poet, rapper, novelist, spoken word artist and playwright Kate Tempest. Having released her third studio album which was executively produced by Rick Rubin, ‘The Book Of Traps And Lessons’ to critical acclaim last June, Kate then embarked on an extensive year of touring, which included her biggest show to date at a sold out London Eventim Apollo.

    ‘Unholy Elixir’ and ‘People’s Faces (Streatham Version)’ are new takes on the album’s ‘Holy Elixir’ and ‘People’s Faces’ - Produced and Mixed by Dan Carey.


    Kate Tempest

    The Book Of Traps And Lessons

    Kate Tempest's third studio album, "The Book of Traps and Lessons". The highly anticipated album was crafted with Rick Rubin and Dan Carey over the course of the past five years. It follows Tempest’s previous releases, 2014’s "Everybody Down" and 2017’s "Let Them Eat Chaos", both of which were shortlisted for Mercury Prize in 2014 and 2017, respectively. Last year, Kate Tempest was nominated at The BRIT Awards for Best Female Solo Performer.

    A handful of words often tell you everything you need to know. When asked, who is Kate Tempest? She gives a brief, albeit telling answer. “Kate Tempest is the words,” she responds. You haven’t ever seen, heard, or experienced anyone quite like her. Tempest uncovers the missing link between the Golden Ages of literature and hip-hop. The London-born BRIT Award-nominated spoken word artist, rapper, poet, novelist, and playwright rhymes with a century-turning fury. Since her emergence in 2011, she has redefined what it means to be a wordsmith in the Modern Age. To date, she has published three poetry collections, staged three plays, and released two studio albums. Along the way, she entranced audiences on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, NPR’s “Tiny Desk,” and more. Not to mention, she garnered widespread critical acclaim from The New York Times, The New Yorker, Forbes, and more, to name a few. In the midst of this whirlwind journey, she performed a passage of her popular 75-minute narrative poem, Brand New Ancients, on Charlie Rose. Legendary producer and American Recordings Founder Rick Rubin caught the show, tracked down her phone number, and made a call.

    TRACK LISTING

    1. Thirsty
    2. Keep Moving Don't Move
    3. Brown Eyed Man
    4. Three Sided Coin
    5. I Trap You
    6. All Humans Too Late
    7. Hold Your Own
    8. Lessons
    9. Firesmoke
    10. Holy Elixir
    11. People's Faces

    Kate Tempest

    Everybody Down

      There’s a strong, vibrant formal tradition in hip hop: the story rhyme.

      Rather than the bragging and boasting of many raps, in a story rhyme the MC presents a narrative - a street update of Ovid or Homer if you want to get hifalutin about it. Traced back by some to “The Message” by Melle Mel, few would dispute that it reached some sort of a peak with Slick Rick’s first album, and was carried forward by the likes of Biggie and Eminem. It also had a profound influence on rap in the UK, with artists like Roots Manuva using the form to represent themselves and their city in a myriad of new ways.

      Kate Tempest is best known as a poet, perhaps a performance poet or a spoken word artist. She has a novel coming out next year with Bloomsbury. But ask Kate what she is and she’s more likely to say she’s a rapper who writes. That’s her first love. Listen to her voice, her cadences, the accent, and you’ll hear more of Skinnyman than Seamus Heaney, a veteran of Deal Real’s legendary Friday night rap battles but also someone at home doing a book reading at Foyles.

      Kate Tempest understands the story rhyme, loves it. Which is why Everybody Down is something like a “novel rhyme” – twelve ‘chapters’ telling one long, complex story, a unique, one-off project, almost unique in the history of the form.

      Dan Carey aka Mr Dan is one of the UK’s best known and most highly-rated producers. He’s worked with or remixed Bat For Lashes, Toy, MIA, Chairlift and Hot Chip (and just about everyone in between). When the two met, Carey invited Tempest to come through to his South London studio to muck about on a track or two. In a burst of intense creativity, they put down the whole twelve track album in a fortnight having spent almost a year developing the characters and story.

      The result is a revelation. Tempest takes the tropes of the hip hop story - drugs, money, gangsters - and brings them to life in a whole new way, a London way, but also a completely personal way, where she inhabits the different characters and shows the boredom and fear in their lives rather than some faked glamour, shows more than anything their need for love.

      Carey, meanwhile, sculpts soundscapes that pay tribute to the roots of hip hop while melding into the themes Tempest addresses, tough and gritty but intensely musical, the sound of a wet winter’s night out in London. He even got US singer-songwriter Willy Mason to contribute a chorus! In the end we get an audio story Dickens might have tried to write, one which is, in Tempest’s words, quite simply about “loving more.”


      TRACK LISTING

      Marshall Law
      The Truth *
      Lonely Daze
      Chicken
      The Beigeness
      Theme From Becky
      Stink
      The Heist
      To The Victor The Spoils
      Circles *
      A Hammer
      Happy End
      * = CD Only Track


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