Låpsley wades through life with ‘Through Water’.

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Her Own Recordings, XL Recordings

The cover of Låpsley’s second studio album, ‘Through Water’.

Mason Montano, Music Editor

English singer-songwriter and producer Låpsley is known for her androgynous vocals and impressive production skills.

She got her start by performing with various local bands in her home county of Merseyside, England before going solo and independently releasing her debut single, “Station”, in January 2014 followed by her debut EP, Monday, that March. The project garnered over 500,000 streams in one month, resulting in XL Recordings signing her in October of that year and dropping her second EP, Understudy, in January 2015 as the prelude to her debut album, Long Way Home, which arrived in March 2016 and spawned the moderately successful singles, “Falling Short” and “Hurt Me”.

Upon completing the record’s release cycle, Låpsley took an extended hiatus from music before returning in October 2019 with her first single in over three years, “My Love Was Like the Rain”, from her third EP, These Elements (December 2019) — the prelude to her second studio album, Through Water, which followed in mid-March.

Through Water is an indie pop and electronica-infused record that Låpsley described in a tweet as being about “the darkness and the light”, “the highs and the lows”, and “to be submerged in the centre of it all.” The album has a cool, refreshing atmosphere that gives the songs the feel of actual water, and the lyrics present themes pertaining to humanity, heartbreak, mental health, and empowerment with the intention of exploring the way that life is unpredictable — just like water.

She opens the record with the experimental title track, on which she reads excerpts from a speech that was written by her father — “one of the world leaders in sustainable development, who works in climate change and water” — introducing the album’s water motif while showcasing her production expertise before transitioning into the lead single, “My Love Was Like the Rain” — an up-tempo indietronica number that, according to another one of her tweets, is about “accepting the elements that make [her] human and… an individual”, embodying both the positive and negative aspects of life to embrace the contradiction between the two.

The following three tracks — “First”; the second single, “Ligne 3”; and “Our Love is a Garden” — are a natural evolution from the cinematic openers and discuss love and heartbreak through vulnerable lyricism. 

“First” is a dark, afrobeat-inspired bop with a pulsating synth beat that describes worshipping a lover like one would a religious idol; “Ligne 3” is an emotional break-up song that sees Låpsley struggling to let go of the past; and “Our Love is a Garden” is a twinkling depiction of trying your best to make a relationship work in addition to finding the beauty in the sadness.

On an even more personal note, “Sadness is a Shade of Blue” is an understated moment of self-reflection for Låpsley, as she sings about her mental health struggles, specifically her battle with depression, in a message of encouragement to herself to seek help and get better, that’s contradicted by the third single, “Womxn” — a euphoric self-empowerment anthem and a celebration of growing into a strong woman and loving oneself for it.

The lead promotional single, “Speaking of the End”, closes the album by describing the end of one relationship and the start of another, signifying a completion in healing from the past and the readiness to embark on a new chapter of one’s life, and Låpsley has solidified her status on the indie pop scene with a much more developed and fully-realized body of work in comparison to her debut that was definitely worth the wait.

Through Water is available now across all online and streaming platforms.

Stream Through Water on Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/album/7bbF0uaMQ3xxKVnQ70OvfT?si=dwn2Wa-GTBSB_a2M3pxvwA 

Watch the music video for “Womxn”: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wlf2M56Qbcc

Låpsley in the music video for “Womxn”.