Kae Tempest is back with a brand new single, ‘I Saw The Light’. From Fiction Records, the offering is the final track to arrive ahead of the London-based writer and musician’s highly anticipated forthcoming album The Line Is A Curve, slated for April 8th. Proof that minimal is indeed maximal, ‘I Saw The Light’ is the sound of a musician determined to let their songcraft speak for itself.
Produced by long-term collaborator Dan Carey and featuring Fontaines D.C. frontman Grian Chatten, ‘I Saw The Light’ follows the success of Tempest’s Paradise, a reinvigorated version of Philoctetes by Sophocles which ran at The National Theatre last summer.
That play was a testament to Tempest’s ability to imbue language with transcendent power no matter the medium. Whether prose, poetry or dialogue, Tempest has always used words to convey hidden depths with the lightest touch. ‘I Saw The Light’ is just as incantatory. Following the motoric pulse of an arpeggiated synth, Tempest’s words unfold like a spool of thread, each fragmentary image tied to the next in a flurry of personal revelations that end precisely where they began.
Opening up about the new track in a recent statement, Tempest said: “The Line Is A Curve is about letting go. Of shame, anxiety, isolation and falling instead into surrender. Embracing the cyclical nature of time, growth, love. This letting go can hopefully be felt across the record. In the musicality, the instrumentation, the lyricism, the delivery, the cover art. In the way it ends where it begins and begins where it ends. I knew I wanted my face on the sleeve.”
‘I Saw The Light’ is, as the name suggests, speckled with fleeting moments of epiphany. For every fast-paced eddy of vivid introspection, there is a pause, a second of silence in which Tempest attempts to recalibrate and reassess, as though they have stumbled upon yet another locked door. “Everything’s beautiful,” they confess before trying a new key in the lock.
Kae Tempest will soon embark on an extensive UK and Ireland tour, which will take them to Glasgow, Belfast, Dublin, Birmingham, Cardiff, Sheffield and London, before a final shoe in Gateshead on May 21st. Check out ‘I Saw The Light’ and keep your eyes peeled for the new album.