One of the UK’s most consistently inventive production minds of recent times, Lil Silva has perhaps one of the most varied resumes in the world. Causing a seismic effect on the world of club music with smashes such as ‘Seasons’ and releases with the likes of Night Slugs, production credits for a diverse range of artists such as Adele, BANKS, Mark Ronson and serpentwithfeet, and a collaborative project with George FitzGerald as OTHERLiiNE even before factoring stellar solo releases under the Lil Silva moniker using his own vocal, he has continuously combined a broad range of influences to create a transformative, varied discography. After the release of ‘Backwards’ last month alongside Sampha, today Lil Silva announces his long awaited debut album, Yesterday Is Heavy.
Over 10 years in the making, ‘Yesterday Is Heavy’ is a cumulative product of an already remarkable career filled with highlights. An album about stepping out: outside of a comfort zone, and, for Lil Silva, outside of himself. It’s a debut album of heft and heart, but most of all hope – and trusting the process. Buoyed on by the encouragement of long-time collaborators like Jamie Woon and Sampha early in his career (they both implored him to commit his own voice to record), and bolstered by incomparable session experience working with Mark Ronson, Adele and more, the Lil Silva story that started aged 10 in Bedford is beginning full circle. Created primarily in the town he grew up in (and continues to live now), the pervading solace of home courses through the project, while providing the thrilling moments of sleight of hand that Silva has always been capable of.
As he so often does, Lil Silva shares the spotlight with an astonishing international cast of guests. He fuses well-versed modern legends in the shape of Sampha, Ghetts, and Little Dragon with rising stars serpentwithfeet, Charlotte Day Wilson and Skiifall to thrilling effect, the whole time never allowing his deftly dynamic yet considered touch to be outshone throughout. The album has also been created with musical direction from Louis Vuitton musical director and BBC Radio 1 tastemaker Benji B, as well as creative direction from award winning visual artist BAFIC. It’s with the opening track ‘Another Sketch’ however, where his singular talent introduces itself.
With a visual directed by UKMVA Award winner Fenn O’Meally, ‘Another Sketch’ is a prime example of the vast array of talents that Lil Silva possesses. A video that transcends generations of Black Britons (featuring Lil Silva’s own family as well as Sampha), ‘Another Sketch’ focuses on the subject of time. Looking at generations of black britons as monuments, the visual centres on the idea that despite time being able to wear down your appearance, what’s inside of you can never depreciate. The main centrepiece of this is heritage, with archive and newly recorded footage showing Silva’s family and friends enjoying the same activities they did generations ago, spliced with footage and voice notes from one of the lands of his dual heritage, Jamaica. The track itself focuses on a central theme of actions, their consequences and changing our inevitable future, with Lil Silva’s stunning falsetto shining alongside background vocals from serpentwithfeet and an instrumental that initially opens minimalistically before gradually unfurling to unveil elements of his electronic beginnings; a thumping hip hop infused beat and swelling melodic embellishments.
With ‘Yesterday Is Heavy’, Lil Silva reaps the rewards of over a decade of influence to create the debut album he’s always imagined. Simultaneously riding the line between pertinent storytelling and virtuosic production, ‘Yesterday Is Heavy’ charts the story of one of UK music’s unsung heroes taking his time to build something that is truly timeless. Yesterday Is Heavy, but tomorrow is forever.
- 1 Another Sketch (3:50) 2:00
- 2 Be Cool (feat Little Dragon) (4:04) 2:00
- 3 Vera (Judah Speaks) (4:30) 2:00
- 4 Leave It (feat Charlotte Day Wilson) (3:44) 2:00
- 5 September (4:20) 2:00
- 6 To The Floor (feat BADBADNOTGOOD) (3:10) 2:00
- 7 Backwards (feat Sampha) (4:07) 2:00
- 8 What If? (feat Skiifall) (3:08) 2:00
- 9 Colours (4:12) 2:00
- 10 About Us (feat Elmiene) (3:16) 2:00
- 11 Still (feat Sampha & Ghetts) (4:01) 2:00
- 12 Ends Now (feat Serpentwithfeet) (2:43) 1:21
- Another Sketch
- Be Cool ft. Little Dragon
- Vera (Judah Speaks)
- Leave It ft. Charlotte Day Wilson
- To The Floor ft. BADBADNOTGOOD
- Backwards ft. Sampha
- What If? ft. Skiifall
- About Us ft. Elmiene
- Still ft. Sampha & Ghetts
- Ends Now ft. serpentwithfeet