Lava La Rue has one of the most distinct personas in the scene of UK music. The West London multi-hyphenate stands as a true manifestation of modern British culture in all of its Fred Perry-wearing, Stella-swilling glory. The result of a melting pot that draws in countless cultural backgrounds alongside experimental and DIY forms of creative production. Through which we have now been bestowed with ‘Hi-Fidelity’.
Made between London and LA, ‘Hi-Fidelity’ is a five-track EP that explores queer romance through heady and uplifting sounds, drawing on Lava La Rue’s broad and dynamic influences the release presents as an incredibly welcome follow-up to their psych-rap infused second EP ‘Butter-Fly’. The lo-fi label brushed over their music so far seems somewhat ill-fitting, now more so than ever. In truth, the sound of ‘Hi-Fidelity’ is a considered and highly successful attempt at bringing even more depth and range to the young artist’s discography. This time channelling more funk and synth into their work. Lava states “I want to drop one last project that acts as the bridge between the Lava that debuted, the one everyone knows, and the person I’m becoming.”
Lava starts the EP on strikingly strong grounds with ‘Don’t trip’ a sultry, funk-infused track with hazy R&B vocals that swim between layers of percussion. On ‘Cry Baby’ they realise all the most exciting and innocently raw energies that come with infatuation as they mobilise playful high pitched raps in a way that projects mental images of playground teasing. Followed by ‘Don’t Come Back’ which mixes swirling melodies with melancholy ruminations on a soured connection.
For the sole feature on the project, ‘Hi-Fidelity’ taps Lava’s long-time collaborator, the musical darling that is Biig Piig, to create a synth-laden and energy-lifting track. Biig Piig continues to be a harmonious accompaniment to Lava La Rue and vice versa. This comes as no surprise, when you come up together is it any wonder that you would compliment each other so exceptionally? ‘Motel’ closes out the project with some heavy 80s influences and scratchy guitar riffs that solidify the musical prowess injected into this EP.
Lava La Rue has undoubtedly refined their sound over the past few years. Still, at its core, there remains a consistent vulnerability, one that incubates the same nostalgic sensations as scratching tags into the margins of notebooks. A kind of ethereal otherness, seen through the eyes of a raver who woke up on the wrong side of midday, as they piece together the tender memories of the night before through a haze of crusty eyes and stale cigarette smoke.
Words: Naima Sutton