It was never in doubt that London-born performance poet Kate Tempest would "make it."
Her fleet of tongue and inventive wordplay had been lauded by many even before a breakthrough performance at Glastonbury in 2011. After being nominated for the Mercury Award in 2014 for her album Everybody Down, she begun a huge tour for the same album, published a poetry collection, and saw the first performance of new play Hopelessly Devoted. It would be harsh not to say that 2014 was her year.
However, as she said in an interview last year, the music came first. "Lonely Daze" is a believable, dexterous, and engaging track that proves not only that Tempest can shape a story, but she has a knack for a hook, too. Produced by Dan Carey, the backdrop to Tempest's musings is a polished electronic setting that thumps out an intimidating rhythm that could probably hold its own as an instrumental track. The balance between interesting and overloaded is done perfectly, however, and it's just sparse enough for you to listen to every word that Tempest has to say.
The story of Becky and Pete, characters central throughout Tempest's album, is gloomy, about economic struggle and doubt, but simultaneously one of hope. It fuses step-by-step narration with quick bursts of thought, like, "What if she could be the one that makes it better, he looks away, can't hold her gaze." Pictures are painted and characters are invested in within minutes, with Tempest's instantly recognizable London accent the final relatable touch.
She said she's now working on a novel, with the characters from her album returning. Kate Tempest appears on a mission to conquer the arts world, and every step taken so far has been firm and accurate.