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Låpsley At The Hotel Café: Show Review

Joyce Jude Lee |
May 8, 2015 | 4:23 p.m. PDT

Music Editor

The 18 year old stuns the LA crowd (Neon Tommy/Joyce Jude Lee)
The 18 year old stuns the LA crowd (Neon Tommy/Joyce Jude Lee)
If Adele and James Blake had a music love child, she would be Låpsley (and no, that is not the name of a Pokémon). 

Låpsley, whose real name is Holly Fletcher, is a breakout singer from the UK who had just played her first show in Los Angeles last night. At only 18 years old, the English prodigy has already had a wildly successful 2014 and 2015 in the indie circle. Her debut EP, “Understudy,” has been extremely well received across the pond, and she’s currently signed to XL Records (Vampire Weekend, Adele, Jungle). This is a promising start, sure, but unlike lots of artists these days, she has the talent to back up these early acclamations. 

On a rainy Thursday night, after opener Javier Dunn warmed up the intimate crowd, Låpsley took the stage donning a black dress covered with an abstract kimono-blazer. Backed with two musicians playing out her meticulously produced beats, the 18 year old put on an incredible show for music fans, all of whom are at least three years her senior, funnily enough (the venue is 21+).  

During the set, she played “8896,”Falling Short,”Station” and even a Fleetwood Mac cover ("Rhiannon") with her own spin. Her style, her voice and her music make her package completely unique. Låpsley has the vocal chops to compete with the best in the industry, but she also has the creative instinct to create interesting and stark contrasts in her music. In a lot of her EP material, including “Falling Short” and “Station,” she sings as herself, but also performs as a male character in the recordings. Live, she translates this gender dynamic with two mic set ups, one projects her normal voice, the other is tuned to a lower pitch. Basically, she performed a duet by herself, impressive, huh? Her vocals floated atop the atmospheric synths and subtle beats, which enhanced her music and made it even more soothing to listen to live. Later on in the set, Låpsley even gifted the sold out crowd with a performance of a song she had recently wrote in Los Angeles, confessing she decided she’d live here one day.

It was truly a wonderful sight to see such a bright, young talent shine with such minimal elements. Given her performance, swagger, and undeniable likability, the crowds are going to get bigger, fast. And despite the fact that she’s gifted with talent beyond her years, she maintains a likable naiveté that breaks the occasionally series moments in her tracks. Låpsley is only just starting to get a taste of stardom-once the rest of the world discovers her, she’ll likely share a crown with Lorde as one of indie music’s royals. 

Lucky for you, the songstress is playing School Night hosted by KCRW, on Monday, May 11, so please do your ears a favor and catch her before she packs theaters.

Reach Music Editor Joyce Jude Lee here.



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