Remember when Ed Sheeran was really good? Sometime around 2011, before he turned musically beige, blanded-out and went all guitar strings blazing for lowest common denominator dollars and chart domination, he put out an EP called No.5 Collaborations, which found him engaging with the grime scene on a series of sensitive and dark tracks a long way from the dross of Galway Girl etc that he’s banging out now. Well, the debut tracks from this ‘new’ London artist remind me of that time.
Slang has just two tracks on line. Sweet Lies is a sobering and introspective mix of hazy acoustics, ghostly distant vocals and mellow rap that finds Slang dealing with some of his troubles: “Battling my demons and they’ve drowned me out again,” he sings, whilst YAY (You Alright, Yeah?) (listen here) hits home with mentions of addiction and jail, but still offers a hand of hope. Both songs are instantly memorable but are instantly affecting due to their heavily personal nature.
Slang may be a new name to many of you, but that doesn’t mean that you might not be familiar with some of his work; as under the name Dan Dare he’s been floating around the music industry for some time, working as a songwriter and producer, collaborating with the likes of Charli XCX, Marina & The Diamonds, Wiley, Chasing Grace, Professor Green and Becky Hill. Now he’s breaking out on his own with this impressive new project. Let’s just hope he doesn’t have a Galway Girl moment.
You can catch Slang live this Spring in the UK at Live At Leeds, Brighton’s Great Escape and Liverpool’s Sound City as well as a show at London’s Sebright Arms on 4th May. There’s a full EP coming next Friday.
Slang - Sweet Lies