- Katherine Keir
Loose Ends Review: Loyle Carner & Jorja Smith
“It feels like it makes sense”, Carner states in conversation with collaborator Jorja Smith, in a video clip of the two shared online, pre-empting the release of the new single ‘Loose Ends’: “Everyone who maybe I’ve ever made a tune with, I’ve been able to call and talk [it] through… Never made a tune and just gone, that’s someone I don’t know."
From his earliest tracks it’s plain to see that authenticity is at the very heart of what Loyle Carner does; his lyricism is a product of realism, honesty and the employment of quick-witted punning and wordplay. Carner has never been afraid to embrace and express the depth of his emotions, and it is undoubtedly this transparency and candor that he can accredit his growing imminence and widespread veneration to. His newest single ‘Loose Ends’ is no different, as Smiths luscious R&B vocals deliver a solemn and plaintive hook that remains fittingly simple to accompany Carner's poignant verses. The track takes an emotive delve into Carner's past, as he meditates retrospectively on his darkest days and the ones who turned their backs on him.
In spite of the melancholic (and at times heartrending) nature of the lyrics, the track still achieves an overall sense of catharsis and healing as Carner's chorus reiterates a capacity for love in spite of hardship; his ruminations on struggle are attended with the wish that ‘you'd been here’, and the familiar bittersweetness that often accompanies nostalgia and the act of reminiscence is perfectly encapsulated in the tone of the song.
Given that this latest collaboration is Carner's third release in the past five months, many are speculating about the possibility of a second album in the works; but for now, ‘Loose Ends’ provides a captivating tune that continues to transcend the genre and an impressive stand-alone single in its own right.