'Atone' ft. Bearcibs

SLO has a big heart.

A respected vocalist - she's previously worked as part of the Leftfield live outfit, amongst many others - she's known for impacting a certain sense of soul, a certain feeling into her recordings.

Real name Jess Mills, the singer is currently on her way to Greece to work with charities helping to ease the migrant crisis. As we say, she's got a big heart.

Now, though, Clash is able to stick to a musical path. New cut 'Atone' ft. Bearcubs is a wonderful piece of spectral R&B, re-looping a soulful a capella and placing it within an electronic framework.

Bearcubs steps on guest production, and he's delivered something that emphatically underlines the sheer talent that is SLO. He comments: "We wanted to build a song based around the soulfulness of an old R&B a capella, set within an electronic soundscape."

Catch 'Atone' below, then check out a Q&A with SLO after the jump.

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So, you're flying to Greece - how did this come about? When did you become aware of the migrant crisis, and what prompted you to get involved?
As well as doing music these days, I'm also part of the core team for a humanitarian organisation called Help Refugees. Help Refugees was founded last September in response to the crisis that was unfolding in Calais. I went out there in December, just trying to work out how I could help, when I got back I connected with the core team, now my dear friends, and it literally changed my life forever. We all do this work because we couldn't just stand by and watch the horror that was unfolding across Europe without doing everything we could do to help.

We're now the largest provider of aid to Calais and Dunkirk and work in 22 of the 47 Refugee camps in Greece. There are six of us in the core team, all from very different professional backgrounds. We have a somewhat unorthodox but super effective way of working... It's 24/7! They are all superheroes in their own ways- I could not be prouder to work alongside them.

Do you feel these concerns - charitable, political - impact on your music?
My music is still a daily part of my life, but somehow remains very separate from the work in doing with Help Refugees - more and more it's become a sanctuary. Somewhere to try and silence all the noise around me and become totally present again.

Let's talk this track... Bearcubs is on production, how was he to work with?
Jack (Bearcubs) is a total joy to work with. He's a brilliant keys player and I love the way he writes arrangements. We both really obsess over vocal harmony; as you might hear we really indulged that on this track!

Did you have the written already, or was your vocal/lyric prompted by Bearcubs music? What links the two?
We wrote 'Atone' together in an afternoon. We wanted this song to have a real purity to it, like a lullaby that just kept turning and building on itself - the production and electronics came secondary, at first it had no accompaniment at all. I love Jack's way of working- he never over does it. Everything always has to count and never overcrowd.

You've worked with a number of big artists before - Leftfield, for example - what do you take from this? Is music always a learning curve?
My time with Leftfield really taught me about the graft of touring, we were on the road on and off for nearly three years. Through summers we were playing at festivals to 30-40,000 people every weekend. It was an amazing amazing time. A brilliant lesson in learning to run the marathon not the sprint.

This is a solo cut. Do you now feel ready to tackle the world on your own? What's changed?
Errrr, I don't know about tackling the world, but I'm definitely ready to step back out into it. I set up my own label last year to release my music. I'm very lucky to have an amazing team around me and we've been loving rolling solo. There is no filter with the music - being able to remove that completely has been a really defining part of this process.

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Catch SLO online HERE.

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