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Flanked by a cast of collaborators including Lil Silva, Twin Shadow, Sampha and Mr. Mitch, Duval Timothy’s "Help" uses brushstrokes of jazz, R&B, soul, piano miniatures, found sound, spoken word and silence to paint a picture of intimacy, and work through the reality of how things don’t always get better.

"Help", Timothy’s fourth album, is a beautiful and compelling listen. It feels well-worn. Right from the jump, the opening 'Next Tomorrow' has this curious familiarity. It doesn’t strike you as a song that was released in August. No, it seems to hold court with more prestige than that, as if you’re booting up a 1950s modal jazz staple, or, say, getting the tingles as 'Start' slides into 'Thinkin Bout You' on "Channel Orange". Across the record are recurrences of similar déjà vu, which suggests either Timothy is speaking to universal truths, penning timeless music, or both.

'Slave', featuring Twin Shadow, goes direct by talking frankly about contractual deals which hold Black musicians captive. The pair excoriate unyielding major labels who completely miss the historical parallels and fail to acknowledge the strain they place on musicians in their supposed duty of care. This scenario wore Timothy down over a number of years, making it feel all the more resonant on playback.

On 'Groundnut', perhaps the most gorgeous song of all –– and also the name of the West African dinner club that Timothy helped run in the early 2010s, out of which grew an award-winning and typically personal cookbook –– we can make out Twin Shadow’s voice uttering "need you so close." It’s unclear as to whether his request was honoured. The running theme of the album gestures toward the possibility that said loneliness maintained.

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