feature: stream the ‘cowboys & hustlers’ ep from experimental r&b singer law. #soundcheck

June 30, 2014

Lauren Holt has gotten a lot of attention from her affiliation with Edinburgh avant garde hip-hop crew Young Fathers, and while she shares a producer and an experimental sensibility, her own music as LAW is its own unique brand of strange. With a voice like Billy Holiday by way of Grace Jones, her latest EP Cowboys & Hustlers builds on the ethereal deconstructed soul of her debut Haters & Gangsters.

Words by Nathan Leigh, AFROPUNK Contributor

The songs on Cowboys are more focused, with a more traditional structure, but that doesn’t mean they’ve lost the left field charm that made Haters & Gangsters so captivating. From “Touches” on, LAW has yet to find a song that couldn’t benefit from more handclaps, more glockenspiel, and more haunting backing vocals. Her unconventional hooks curl around your brain on the MIA inflected “Lilo.”
“Hustle” brought LAW to everyone’s attention a year ago, and once again it steals the show here. The minimal-yet-atmosphere-heavy production is a perfect match for her otherwordly voice. The EP ends with the quasi-industrial “Transcenders.” It’s a surprising blast of aggression from an artist whose music often mines the unconventional sides of beauty, but beauty nonetheless. But between the noisy “Transcenders” and the autoharp assisted “Coins For You” from Haters & Gangsters, LAW is an artist with a surprisingly large range. But when you have a voice as unique and confident as hers, there’s nothing you can’t do.