Kieran Rates: Ghostpoet – 'liiines'
Ghostpoet has had a good year. A top 10, a collab with Kano, a performance at Glastonbury, and now hitting the headlines this week for his well-deserved Mercury Prize nomination, it seems Obaro Ejimiwe can do no wrong...
I remember seeing him a few years ago at 'Turn Off The Radio' (the infamous acoustic club night) when his status as a performer was far more self-conscious, even borderline awkward, but is testament to his development as an artist that he’s come so far and can now easily pack venues.
Low key, subtle, and almost whispering his acclaimed status into the mainstream, his music is everything I like in electronica: interesting, at times risky, full of loops, samples and slow, calculated vocals that tell of an urban experience. You can almost imagine him scribbling lyrics on a napkin, captivated by the modern world passing him by.
'Liiines' is the next release from his excellent LP, 'Peanut Butter Blues And Melancholy Jam', and, as the title suggests, he continues the tone of melancholy. The track is well produced, with the same sing-along quality as his last single, ‘Survive It’, but with a bit more punch. This has a hefty injection of introspection and, for me, it’s here where the comparisons to Roots Manuva are clear.
His musing is touching rather than preachy: "Life is too short to hold onto grudges. Life is too short to make no plans." He takes us on a journey of self-discovery and witty observations – sometimes frantic, sometimes slow and collected, but always telling a story. There are few great storytellers left in the mainstream world, but Ghostpoet is certainly one of them.
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Words: Kieran Yates (@Kieran_Yates)
Online editing: Joseph 'JP' Patterson (@Jpizzledizzle)