Kate Tempest – Everybody Down
Spoken word artist Kate Tempest's debut is undoubtedly impressive. The storytelling of Marshall Law and Lonely Daze – gritty, intimate and confessional – is far more effective than her closest peers (Scroobius Pip seems arch and condescending by comparison). She effortlessly melds the personal and the political, an inspiring writer, subverting rap narratives and 'hood tales with a sharp eye for human behaviour, always creating compelling characters and precise, technical rhymes.
Not everybody is going to love it – the spoken word delivery, of which she is a master, isn't always a comfortable fit for the bass-heavy beats of producer Dean Carey, and for fans of conventional rap music, the mixture of poetic delivery, hip-hop flow and half-sung choruses may be too strange a brew. But for those who have waited a long time for an artist to emerge from that scene and make a compelling document, Everybody Down sees that promise fulfilled.