Following on from ‘Bittersweet’ and ‘Paper Thin’ which was released in conjunction with details of the new, self-titled record, Lianne La Havas has now shared the next installment of her eponymous third album with new single ‘Can’t Fight’.
Co-written and produced by Mura Masa – ‘Can’t Fight’ is a beautifully crafted ode to the push-pull of a relationship that is struggling to find its natural equilibrium. The truth that you need to break free from it but the love and belief that you can make it work keeps pulling you back in.
“You know it’s not good, but you can’t you can’t not do it. People say if you’re having a hard time in a relationship, just leave. It’s so easy to say, but it’s so much more complicated than that. Because there’s two of you, and neither of you are perfect. And there are things that you’re learning along the way. So you think, Well, let me do a little bit of work and just see if we can get that feeling back – it’s possible because we do really love each other. So I guess at the time, I was convinced that yes, it’s hard, but we can get through this.”
This complex subject matter is at odds with the upbeat and optimistic sound of the record – the buoyant guitar line and rhythmic syllables intertwine with a rhythmic backing track that invokes a sense of classic soulful joy throughout.
“I made it with Mura Masa in in Peckham. I first worked with him a few years ago, around the time of my second album coming out, and I just love his music. We were listening to a lot of Vulfpeck – they’re incredible musicians, really deep beats with classic soulful melodies but with a contemporary, slightly nerdy take on it, in the best possible way.”
Lianne La Havas, the album, was mainly recorded in London, but also in Bath and New York. In keeping with the album’s intimate feel, everyone who contributed to the record is a trusted collaborator, including long-term songwriting ally Matt Hales, co-producer Beni Giles, and guest co-producer Mura Masa.
‘Lianne La Havas is ten songs that span the arc of a love relationship. Over the five years it took for the album to come together, she found herself watching the changing foliage outside her window in south London, struck by how she was growing and changing herself—not always comfortably. “A flower has to dry up and die in order to be reborn,” she says. “You have to get to the rock bottom to rebuild yourself.”