Updated: Apr 20
equality factor: musical recording of the transitional period of young womanhood
producer: Holly Lapsley Fletcher
based in: Liverpool
label: XL Recordings
After an intensive phase of self-discovery, the British artist Holly Lapsley Fletcher is back with her second studio album "Through Water". Here you can read all about the empowering aspects of her musical work.
Like hardly any other artist in Great Britain, Låpsley has managed to develop musically while remaining true to herself and her music.
But first, we want to remind you once again who exactly we are dealing with: It's been four years since she released her acclaimed debut album "Long Way Home". With this first record, Låpsley created a total musical work of art, on whose crystal-clear mirror surfaces everything could reflect that is not currently needed. At the time, she was only 19 years old. But given that figuratively speaking, she was introduced to music since she was first born, it comes as no surprise that she showed artistic maturity even as a teenager. At a young age, she enjoyed an extensive classical music education and learned to play the oboe, piano, and guitar. Before she decided to make her own music, she was a member of several bands. Her first self-produced EP reached an audience of millions via Soundcloud in 2014. Her subsequent appearance at the Glastonbury Festival did the rest to finally qualify her as a celebrated newcomer at the time.
In "Trough Water", we can now look back on the last four years of her young life together with the artist and observe how she developed from a teenager to an empowering woman in music. After the successful start of her musical solo career and the release of her debut album, she had retired from the public eye for the time being. She worked with young people on a voluntary basis and received training to become a midwife. During this time, she continued to write songs. The experiences of the last four years had given her enough inspiration and strength for the difficult sophomore album. A hundred songs were written during this time, of which the best ten have made it onto the new album. It seems as if she wanted to show the real world a piece of her empathy, flowing through every pore of "Through water".
The element of water splashes calmly and powerfully throughout the whole album.
"Through water" is a very empowering album on many levels. One aspect that called our attention is that the whole record was produced by the artist herself. "Through water" will experience most of the effects of climate change, as the chopped-up speech sample in the intro-like opener enlightens us. But Låpsley quickly turns away from her unusual focus on the outside world and uses water as the primary metaphorical field for her emotional life. "My love was like the rain" is aptly named the first big exclamation mark - for this track, she takes us on a mystical journey. With ease, she convinces us of her talent as a producer - as she does just as effortlessly on each and every following track.
"First" dances lonely and lost in thought in a nightly beach bar, the chorus a self-duet of a distorted voice combined with A clearly articulated second one. Is it a dialogue between the classically trained girl and the electro-enthusiastic teenager? Or between the celebrated pop prodigy of the debut with the mature artist of the difficult second album? The answer is entirely up to the listener...
“I look, I breathe, I feel like a woman,”
One song that stands its ground most strongly in regard to equality empowerment is that of the single release "WOMXN". "I was 20 years old and in a pretty bad shape when I wrote 'Womxn'," Låpsley writes on Instagram. "The song is about having faith in the passage of time; about not knowing what to do now, but knowing that you will know at some point. And now we are in that future and I am stronger and more confident than I was then - it has become my present." The term "Womxn" comes from the LGBTIQ+ world and is used to include transgender women in the term "woman". Låpsley chose the title because she feels very much a part of the LGBTIQ+ community and wants to work for equality. The music video for "Womxn" is also about strong female characters: In the clip, director Jane Stockdale shows the well-known cyclists Jenna Meth, Anneleen Bosma, and Yewande Adesia, who fight with all the elements that the British winter throws at them, according to an official statement.
In the product description on Amazon, you can read the following very empathetic words about the album, which we happily agree with and emphasize here: "Through Water" is a strong musical statement of a musician who has found herself and healed her soul and gently caresses ours with her empathetic songs. Låpsley has arrived in her life and looks more confidently than ever into the future. We congratulate Låpsley on this work and are delighted that she shares her emotional journey with us in such a wonderful musical way, allowing us to participate in her voyage to herself, a magically relatable coming-of-age story. This album provided just the right musical input that is much needed in times like these. It is a certain light-heartedness that makes this album special.