As far as debut albums go, there’s nothing I’ve been anticipating more the last few months than Liv.E’s full-length album this year. I’ve been a fan of her music since about 2017 with the release of her excellent EP FRANK, something I still actively play to this day (“93” with Pink Siifu is my shit). Her angelic, poignant and gorgeous voice is usually complemented by eclectic and experimental synth-heavy production that sounds smooth, funky and frankly otherworldly. Her brand new debut album Couldn’t Wait To Tell You… follows the same formulae, with 20 tracks of purely blissful sonic compositions, subdued yet hypnotic vocal performances and a sequence that sounds incredible smooth and fluid. Most of the album is produced by the legend Mejiwahn, co-produced by Daoud and with additional work from Kafari, Shungu, Liv.E herself, Salami Rose Joe Louis, Ben Hixon, Cheflee and Pacific Yew. A truly sublime body of work, it touches on themes of love, self and growth among other things, over lavish, textured instrumentals that sound moody, reflective and utterly beautiful.
The moody and reflective “What’s the Real” kicks the album out with smooth synths and a reflective message about self-love, before breaking away into the dynamic and vibe-heavy “How It Made Me Feel.” The eclectic drumming and key arrangements throughout are pretty incredible, as her smooth vocal performance throughout meanders between the idiosyncratic production. The mixing sounds purposefully dense and subdued, intertwining her vocals and the production beautifully. The drum-heavy “Bout These Pipedreams” is another dynamic and drum-heavy track, with playful and murky vocals that add to the elecectic and jumpy nature of this track. The reflective and fascinating “Stories with Aunt Liv” is a groovy and reflective cut, with a fantastic spoken-word piece. Upon first listen “Lessons From My Mistakes… but I Lost Your Number” is my favourite track. The track floats through a drum-heavy, meandering soundscape, before breaking into this incredibly lavish, piano and groove-heavy beat. The gorgeous and soulful “About Love at 21” is another soulful and reflective cut, with a stunning vocal sample that adds to the mesmeric and gorgeous tone of the track as a whole. “She’s My Brand New Crush” and “Moving on Felt Great and This Feels (good) Too”, both featuring C.S. Armstrong are mesmeric tracks, same goes to “It’ll Be Okay”, with it’s incredible piano keys and angelic, powerful vocals. Her ability to reflect on her own life, mistakes she’s made and things she’s done in the past, in order to grow as a human being is truly inspiring, and it translates to a captivating body of work that highlights her strength and ability as a songwriter. The album almost sounds like a collage of samples, ideas and sounds that define her state of mind and personality. Tracks like “I Been Livin” and “How She Stay Conflicted…i Hope He Understands” are examples of these incredibly diverse and dynamic sonic snippets, as they sound incredibly beautiful throughout. The retro, old school tone of “You the One Fish in the Sea” and “LazyEaterBetsOnHerLikeness” are incredibly lush, while piano-driven closer “Bout My Big Man Batter” is a fantastic way to close this dynamic, eclectic, old-school soul album.
Since discovering her amazing music, Liv.E has remained one of my absolute favourite musicians, creating some absolutely stunning, soulful and melodic soundscapes that are like vignettes of memories, assembled in a collage of incredibly lush and textured sounds. The vibe of this album is incredible, with stunning compositions and vocals that captivate and draw me in like no other project this year. Couldn’t Wait To Tell You… is Liv.E at her absolute best. Her stunning vocals, complemented by the lush and textured production makes for a mesmeric, reflective and beautiful body of work that showcases the extent of her talents as an artist.