Little Simz's Sometimes I Might Be Introvert: What You Need To Know
If the music industry and the record-buying public at large had been a little slow to catch on to the prodigious talents of London-born rapper Little Simz in the early years of her career, her 2019 album Grey Area provided a wake up call for all who had slept on the understated brilliance that emerged in flashes on her debut album A Curious Tale of Trials + Persons and its follow-up, Stillness in Wonderland.
Striking up a creative partnership with producer Inflo, who has in the last few years been quietly helping to carve out modern masterpieces with the likes of Michael Kiwanuka and Sault, Little Simz delivered an album that deserves to considered one of the best from a UK-born rapper in recent memory, earning a nomination for that year’s Mercury Prize and winning Best Album at the Ivor Novello Awards.
This week Little Simz returns with her fourth studio album, Sometimes I might Be Introvert, which expands on the raw power and grit displayed on Grey Area into something much more cinematic. Her new album arrives in stores on Friday (September 3), here’s everything you need to know…
A little background…
Since Grey Area’s arrival in 2019, Simz has kept herself busy, releasing a five-track EP/mixtape in 2020 (which included the track ‘might bang, might not’) and popping up to deliver a guest appearance on Sault’s recent album Nine.
News of a fourth album arrived in April this year, along with lead single ‘Introvert, which also serves as the opening track on the new LP.
Who’s producing it?
Inflo is once again overseeing production duties across the whole album, although there has also been input from Miles James and Jakwob, the latter having previously worked with the likes of George the Poet and Charli XCX.
Any special guests?
Just a couple; Cleo Sol makes an appearance on ‘Woman’, while Nigerian singer Obongjayar adds vocals to ‘Point and Kill’.
What does it sound like?
Right from the first few bars of the album’s opening salvo ‘Introvert’, with its big brass samples and lush, orchestral feel, the new album feels like something on a grander scale than its predecessor. The fuzzy, gritty production style that often made Grey Area such a thrill to listen to is still present in places – particularly on tracks like ‘Speed’ - but here it’s just a small part of a much bigger picture.
There’s a similar aesthetic in the mining of dusty samples and soul influences to add a retro sheen to tracks like ‘Little Q” and ‘Woman’, but elsewhere the new album draws on a much wider sonic palette and feels much more adventurous. That’s especially evident towards the new album’s latter half, where in the space of less than 10 minutes we’re taken on a journey from the grand orchestral sweep of ‘The Rapper That Came To Tea…’, through the fizzing 808 beats of ‘Rollin Stone’ and into the swaggering 80s funk of ‘Protect My Energy’.
Early standout moments include ‘I Love You, I Hate You’, which manages to blend many of these elements together at once, and the low-key infectious groove of ‘Point and Kill’, just one of many moments on the album where Simz reminds us that there are few better lyricists around.
Does it deliver?
One of the things that was so great about Grey Area was that even in the midst of the aggressive production, Little Simz still found room to allow herself to be vulnerable, especially on tracks like ‘Wounds’. That continues and expands on the new album, which doesn’t try to recreate the sound of its predecessor, but instead turns the page into an exciting new chapter.
With a longer runtime and a much more varied feel across the whole album it may take a few more listens to fully get your head around, but Sometimes I Might Be Introvert is well worth the effort, and it will reward you.
Sometimes I Might Be Introvert is available in stores from Friday September 3 - you can also find it here in our online store.