Dave's We're All Alone In This Together: What You Need To Know
When London-born rapper Dave burst onto the scene with his debut album Psychodrama in 2019, he wasted no time in making waves; shooting straight to the top of the UK Album Chart, his debut also won the Mercury Prize a staller year was topped off by an unforgettable performance at Glastonbury Festival, not least a performance of his hit ‘Thiago Silva’ which saw one of his fans join him on stage (remember ‘Alex from Glasto’? Of course you do…)
After unveiling a collaboration with Stormzy earlier this year, Dave returns this week with the hotly-anticipated follow-up to his excellent debut.
New album We’re All Alone In This Together makes its arrival in stores on Friday (July 23), here’s everything you need to know…
A little background…
Dave continued his hot streak into 2020, with a barnstorming performance of ‘Black’ the BRIT Awards, where his debut Psychodrama also picked the award for Album of the Year.
Confirmation of the new album’s title and released date arrived just in the last month alongside a new Stormzy-featuring single ‘Clash’ released on July 9.
Who’s producing it?
As with Psychodrama, several producers are involved and longtime Dave collaborators 169 and Kyle Evans are both among those making contributions on the new album.
Any special guests?
The Evans-produced Stormzy collaboration ‘Clash’ features on the tracklist, while there are also appearances by James Blake, who features on ‘Both Sides of a Smile’, and Snoh Aalegra, who adds vocals to ‘’Law of Atrraction’, as well as guests spots for BOJ on ‘Lazarus’ and Wizkid on ‘System’.
What does it sound like?
Part of Psychodrama's charm was in its understated confidence and its restraint, always resisting the the urge to slip into an all-guns-blazing banger and instead mining the tension between the album's sparse, piano-led instrumentals and Dave's surgically sharp lyrics.
It's a similar story on All Alone In This Together; the mournful pianos are still present on much of the album, particularly on tracks like 'Verdansk' and 'Three Rivers', but that's not to say it's all downtempo here and on tracks like 'System' and 'Lazarus' Latin rhythms and Spanish guitars are deployed to bring more of a party vibe to the proceedings.
Lyrically, though, Dave is sharper than ever and much of the album deals with themes of inequality and the realities of success for those from less advantaged backgrounds, as well as the injustices of the UK's immigration system. On the James Blake feature 'Both Sides of a Smile', though, Dave turns his attention to more personal matters to deliver one of the album's more uplifting standouts.
Does it deliver?
Psychodrama was described by the Mercury Prize hudges as one of the boldest rap debuts in a generation from a UK artist and if Dave's debut was a statement about his potential, its follow-up shows that he has plenty more in the tank than could be squeezed onto one album.
All Alone In This Together has all of the elements that made Psychodrama great, but Dave isn't standing still here - instead he's showing why he's been hailed as one of the UK's brightest talents, and on this evidence he's only going to keep getting better.