It’s crazy to think that Yesterday Is Heavy is Lil Silva’s debut album. The English producer, singer, songwriter and DJ has been involved in some of the most groundbreaking electronic and pop albums of the last decade or so (Adele, Mark Ronson, Kano, Duval Timothy, Sampha and serpentwithfeet to name a few of his previous collaborators). His presence on these projects cannot be underestimated, so for him to release his debut body of work and for it to be this good, is a blessing.
Yesterday Is Heavy consists of 12 tracks and 45 minutes of the most engaging, soulful and stunning electronic and soul music I think has come out this year so far. It’s an eclectic body of work that combines the smooth, gentle soul on songs such as the smooth, melodic and emphatic “Another Sketch” to the sublime Sampha-featured “Backwards”. The sonic arrangements on the album as a whole are just so beautiful and powerful. The 808-heavy, expansive beats, the melodic synth leads and the influence from the UK’s ever-growing, rich and varied dance history make this such an important listen, and one to take as an example of what we should expect, sonically, from the UK in years to come. Standouts to me include the emphatic, almost abrasive “September”, with growling basslines that sit between dynamic beats and atmospheric synths that grow as the track progresses. That track flows effortlessly into the groovy, and broken-beat groove of “To The Floor”, featuring the dazzling BADBADNOTGOOD. The grooves they bring to that track are incredible. Skiifall provides an exceptional verse over the drill-inspired beat of “What if?”, while Sampha and Kano appear together on an absolute standout in “Still”. The vocals and beat on this track are beautiful and captivating, while Kano’s reflective verse is another stellar standout on the album. The broken-beat, colourful energy on “Vera (Judah Speaks)” is another uplifting moment, while the album closes with the dynamic “Ends Now” featuring serpentwithfeet. It brings a positive, enlightening touch to a track that brings the whole album together beautifully.
Lil Silva’s debut Yesterday Is Heavy is a stunning body of work, capturing a decade’s worth of pure, raw artistry, combined with sonic experimentation and variety that makes it stand out from the rest. He is one of the most talented artists this country has produced, and I’m sure he will continue making incredible beats for years and years to come. Hopefully sooner rather than (10 years) later. Go listen to Lil Silva’s Yesterday Is Heavy below!