Loraine James – not Lorraine James, Loraine Jones, or any other common misspelling – began developing her musical language early in life. Growing up on Enfield’s iconic and colourful Alma Estate in North London, she was surrounded by a plethora of parallel cultures, and thanks to her mum’s obsession with anything from heavy metal to calypso, James was able to experience music from the driver’s seat. She learned to play the piano as a teenager, frequenting emo, pop and math rock shows before teaching herself electronic music production with a MIDI keyboard and a laptop. In her low-key home studio, James channeled her wide range of interests into a personal sound that in time evolved into an identifiable signature.
That signature began to emerge on 2017’s “Detail”, and James refined it over a run of releases that netted global acclaim, subtly hybridizing R&B, drill, pop and IDM forms. Her breakthrough album “For You & I” and its intimate follow-up “Reflection” were released on iconic British label Hyperdub and praised for their vital narratives that accurately portrayed her reality as an independent queer, Black, British artist. Following that, she explored another path entirely, adopting the moniker Whatever The Weather for her math rock and ambient music-inspired Ghostly International debut. With Gentle Confrontation, Loraine’s third album for Hyperdub, she lets us into a new chapter of her real and sonic life in which she examines her past and present. She says this is the record a teenage Loraine would like to have made, the album’s musical tendencies reflect that time too. Constantly shifting, James is an unpredictable force whose experimental approach is struck through with vulnerability, curiosity and hope.
Tickets £15 + £1 venue levy + bf
54 Holywell Ln, London , London, EC2A 3PQ