Staying Loyle

Benjamin Coyle-Larner, otherwise known as Loyle Carner, recently joined Annie Mac’s Radio 1 show to deliver his latest ‘Hottest Record in the World’ – The Isle of Arran. On this track, his smooth, South London tone is accompanied by a soulful, chorale-like backing:

“uh, no I don’t believe him// uh, but know that I’ve been grieving// know that I’ve been holding out, hoping to receive him.”

It’s instantly typical of Carner, brimming with emotion, but contained by reason. His voice is once again mature beyond his age, self-assured and equipped to confront material close to his core, with The Isle of Arran serving as a continuation of his usual matters of domestic discord and paternal problems. He told Annie Mac about the inspiration behind the track, “…it’s a little island off the top of Scotland and there’s not much to do there… its beautiful, very secluded.” Carner’s newly released track is built around his grandad, one of his “only real male role models” , and whilst this creation is undeniably moving, perhaps the content is all too familiar. To criticise him for this, however, would be to criticise him for all his success to date, which is simply not possible.

He's a handsome bastard as well

His A Little Late EP was released in September 2014: a project that has propelled him to become both a highly anticipated and sought after name in UK-rap. His intimacy and honesty with the microphone in hand has led him to collaborate with the jazzy percussions of Tom Misch, the dulcet crackles of Dublin’s Reggie Snow and award-winning poet-slash-hip-hop-artist, Kate Tempest.  His close friend and producer, Chris (A.K.A. Rebel Kleff), as always supplies the Dilla influenced beats with these instrumentals provide the backbone for Carner to stagger and skip over in time. Further released tracks Tierney Terrace, Florence and Ain’t Nothing Changed, have accelerated his position in today’s mainstream music. His success so far no doubt a reflection of his talent but surely of his warm and relaxed character too (I once had email contact with him over the late dispatching of his custom made tees: sincere and apologetic, indeed). He delivers his interviews in a relaxed and humble fashion, occasionally nudging a football around his local area - usually sporting Dickies and a pair of Converse skate shoes. And, every now and then he runs Chilli Con Carner, a cookery school to help kids with ADHD. You get the picture: he’s a good bloke.

As a live act, he is energetic and light-hearted. Now a polished operator on stage, a capable dancer, sharing stories intermittently and leading the crowd to a pulsating rock as he and Rebel Kleff exchange lyrics over No CD. Yet he has the ability to be hugely moving too. Carner never forgets to bring his late step-dad’s Manchester United ‘Cantona 7’ shirt, paying tribute to the man he misses. His first performance of Cantona at Glastonbury was introduced and performed beautifully, reducing the crowd and himself alike to tears. This soft, tender-hearted side sets him apart from his grime contemporaries, as he displays a poetic intelligence as well as a raw musical ability. The news of his debut album, Yesterday’s Gone, is welcomed warmly. Check him out here, and for more musical goodness have a listen to the latest edition of The Come Up 'cuz its bloody good for you.

Words by: Ali