Yazmin Lacey

Something My Heart Trusts

Electric Soul | Jazz

First Word Records


premiere: yazmin lacey’s soul jazz has attitude

April 26, 2018
76 Picks

Not sure which part at the top of Yazmin Lacey’s second great single of 2018, “Something My Heart Trusts,” is more appealing. Is it the rhythm section flourish that begins it? At once, forceful and smooth, tight but relaxed, a heavy kind of light-hearted — effortlessly setting up the song’s off-kilter scene, an odd time signature, and a groove. Or is it the lyrical put-down that the East End girl transplanted to Nottingham delivers seconds later, which does pretty much the same job but with words. “You won’t shut the fuck up, so I won’t let you in,” is a line tailored for righteous punk anger, but when delivered with Lacey’s soulful drawl, it’s a declaration of weariness. And in 2018, who of us does not share that mental exhaustion?

Lacey, who first began demanding the spotlight with a wonderful 2017 EP called Black Moon, makes music that takes advantage of the U.K.’s current mass re-connection of soul, jazz and broken beat. Backed by a crack quintet, where the electric keys (Pete Beardsworth) and electric guitar (Charlie Bone) provide a melodic sheen, while the bass (George French), drums (Tom Towle) and percussion (Owen Campbell) set down the rhythm figures. Yazmin’s is a dynamic variation on what was once tagged “neo-soul,” her vocals up-front, on the listener’s plain, not hidden behind a recording studio’s veils, earthy and relatable.

Like most of Lacey’s songs, “Something My Heart Trusts” is too: the end of the affair and a yearning for a truer bond that is easy to recognize. The difference is that as the rhythm section, lyrics and the attitude of the vocal all make clear, the desire that Lacey projects comes from a place of strength not weakness. Which is why, when the group stirs behind her and Yazmin arrives at a chorus that can easily serve as a double entendre for the darker times unfolding all around us, the expressed weariness is couched in a declarative need, a demand:

Something’s got to give
Something’s got to change
Something my heart trusts

“Something My Heart Trusts” is out on First Word Records in late April.