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With a smoky voice and proficiency on multiple instruments, U.K. singer and songwriter Låpsley merges adult pop, classic soul, and quirkier, downtempo indie electronica into her sleek, reflective songs. Her full-length debut, Long Way Home, was released in 2016 and charted in ten countries. The tone remained reflective through her sophomore effort, the more textural Through Water (2020), which found her investigating 4AD's 1980s roster, and 2023's more uplifting Cautionary Tales of Youth, which gained self-acceptance in pandemic isolation. Holly Lapsley Fletcher, aka Låpsley, was born and raised in Southport, Merseyside. She spent her formative years in the classical music world, learning oboe, piano, and guitar. She began honing her skills in the pop music world while still in her early teens, performing with multiple bands before striking out on her own. Her intimate and ethereal vocals and evocative electronic ambient compositions first caught the attention of the public in 2014 when she garnered over a million streams with her home-recorded debut EP. A gig at the BBC Introducing stage at the Glastonbury Festival, along with good word of mouth from BBC Radio DJs Huw Stephens and Zane Lowe, brought her further recognition, resulting in a deal with XL Recordings, which issued her Understudy EP in January 2015. Featuring her U.K. Top Ten single "Hurt Me" and drawing focus to her melismatic vocal delivery, Låpsley's debut full-length, Long Way Home, arrived in March 2016. Still a teenager at the time of its release, Låpsley soon suffered burnout and stepped away from the music industry for a year that saw her relocate to Manchester. When she was ready to work on music again, she moved back to London and immersed herself in '80s 4AD releases, including bands like This Mortal Coil and Cocteau Twins. Expanding textures but keeping her spacious sound, she released the EP These Elements in late 2019 before issuing her sophomore album, the wistful and reflective Through Water, in March 2020. By that time, Låpsley was isolating from the COVID-19 pandemic in South Africa, an experience that inspired material for her next album. A more confessional record that reflected a newfound appreciation for things like slowing down and self-acceptance, early 2023's Cautionary Tales of Youth was produced with Jessy Lanza, Paul White, Greg Abrahams, and prior collaborator Joe Brown.
© Marcy Donelson & James Christopher Monger /TiVo


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