After taking the BBC Introducing stage by storm at Glastonbury a few weeks ago, it’s no wonder that big things are expected from 17 year old Holly ‘Lapsley’ Fletcher. Her most recent song ‘Painter (Valentine)’ has just had a video released by director Harvey Pearson and features Lapsley herself alongside a friend.
With the A-side, Station, receiving so much attention, it would be easy to be sceptical as to whether the flip would be able to top it, but sure enough ‘Painter (Valentine)’ is undeniably exceptional. Lapsley’s beautifully haunting voice enters softly with the memorable lyrics ‘you can paint these wings and make them fly’ before she begins to slowly build up the texture with layered vocals and block piano chords. We hear the bass drum quietly creep in underneath her piercingly clear high notes, which for me, never fail to send shivers down the spine. As the beat kicks in, we also hear a slightly distorted male voice which echoes her own, creating a chilled ambience which almost sends the listener into a trance.
Despite the chilling nature of the vocals, the gentle rise and fall in dynamics and texture make for an easy, pleasing listen especially alongside the repetitive yet catchy lyrics. The song comes to a close exactly the same way in which it opened with the lyric ‘you can paint these wings and make them fly’.
In the midst of the masses of Neo-Soul that is currently around at the moment, it’s difficult for artists of this genre to particularly stand out. However, at such a young age Lapsley is already one that does. Her development as an artist is already enormous as she started out writing songs on an acoustic guitar; whereas now she is performing at events as big as Glastonbury festival in a completely different style. Her next big appearance is set to be Liverpool Music Week where she will be performing alongside artists such as Mogawi, Wild beasts, Caribou and Forest Swords.
It appears the replay button is stuck beneath my fingertips, so if you haven’t already, I strongly recommend taking a listen and a watch of the new single – it will not fail to disappoint!