Back in 2014, 17-year-old Holly Lapsley Fletcher self-released a little EP she recorded in her bedroom. A four-track set ideal for late and hazy nights, the collection featured her sweet, deep voice over simple, dewy synths with minimal production. She quickly became a Soundcloud sensation, where she garnered half a million plays, earned a spot at Glastonbury, and signed to indie tastemakers XL Recordings, which houses stars like Adele and Radiohead.
Two years later, Lapsley’s full-length debut Long Way Home is a a more realized version of her sound with similar, heart-grinding vibes. Now 19, the British songwriter marries dark, club-kid influences from her nights spent at Liverpool venues with crunching heartache on 12 lush songs that morph and twist her voice into various iterations — on “Station,” a seeming duet originally released in 2014, she sings back-and-forth with a more baritone side of herself.
The swift, winding tracks let Lapsley sing from different perspectives as she calls upon doo-wop (“Operator”), Lisa Stansfield-style europop (“Hurt Me”), and moody, tinny drums (“Tell Me The Truth”) to tell dreamy tales of love, loss, and solitude. “In seven months I tried my best but I know that we all drift,” she croons about a past relationship on the closer “Seven Months.” “Every night I would stay and you would depart, every night the space between would freeze my heart.”
But if these songs are any indication, Lapsley’s not afraid to be alone. She braids her voice, bass strings, and percussions together to create whole conversations, and on the opener, “Heartless,” she owns the tone with a mantra excellent for anyone emerging from a break-up or as an artist: “I’m yet to fully grow.”