British spoken-word performer, rapper, poet, novelist, and playwright Kae Tempest returned with a new project. Today, the artist has announced their fourth album, The Line Is A Curve, from April 8 via American Recordings/Republic Records. Tempest also shared the first single, “More Pressure,” with a feature Kevin Abstract.
The Line Is A Curve following 2019 The Book of Traps & Lessons and performed by longtime collaborator Dan Carey. The legendary Rick Rubin served as executive producer. It features contributions from the Abstract, Lianne La Havas, Grian Chat o DC fountain, Asia, and Confucius MC. The album artwork is a photo of the Tempest shot by Wolfgang Tillmans, the photographer behind Frank Ocean’s iconic cover Blonde.
make The Line Is A Curve proved to be an inspiring experience for Tempest, who explained its origins in a lengthy statement:
“The Line Is A Curve about release. In shame, anxiety, loneliness and falling into surrender instead. Adopting the cyclical nature of time, growth, love. This departure will hopefully be felt throughout the record. In the music, the instrument, the lyric, the delivery, the cover art. That way it ends where it started and starts where it ends. I knew I wanted my face in the sleeve. Throughout my creative life, I was hungry for the spotlight and less comfortable with it. For the last couple of records, I wanted to get away completely from the album covers, the videos, the facing aspects of this industry. A lot of that is about my shame but I hide it behind a genuine desire in my work to be able to speak for itself, that I am not in front of, that commodify what feels unique to me and sacred. I, at times, get angry that in order to quit work, I have to put myself down….
But this time around, I understood differently. I want people to feel welcome to this record, through me, the person who made it, and I release some of my greatest concerns. I feel stronger about what I’m trying to do, who I am as an artist and as a person and what I have to offer. My shame on my body diminished because I no longer hid from the world. I wanted to show my face, and I dreamed that Wolfgang Tillmans took the picture.
The fluid first single “More Pressure” means The Line Is A Curvethe light. Buzzing synths guide the track as Tempest’s lyrics flow. “I didn’t know / I thought before / Things were very clear,” Tempest said in a pronounced word cadence. “I’m so close to anywhere/ I can feel everything in me/ Pushing for certainty/ But the sure ones are weak/ The rocky ground beneath me now tells me there’s no land at all.” Later, the Abstract becomes equally existential, asking, “What is real to you?/ What is real?”
Watch the full lyric video for “More Pressure” below, and scroll forward to see the album artwork and tracklist. Pre-orders for the record are continued.
While you wait for Tempest’s new album, revisit the artist’s album interviews with Kyle Meredith The Book of Traps and Lessons, and the Origins feature for the lead single on the denim album, “Firesmoke.”
The Line Is A Curve Artwork:
The Line Is A Curve Tracklist:
01. Priority Boredom
02. I Saw Light (feat. Grian Chatten)
03. Nothing to Prove
04. Walay Premyo (feat. Lianne La Havas)
05. Salt Coast
06. Dili Ka Ba
07. These are the Days
08. Smoking (feat. Confucius MC)
09. Rain Water
11. Dugang Pressure (feat. Kevin Abstract)