Loyle Carner's New Single 'Yesterday' Takes Us On His Journey Into Adulthood
26-year-old Loyle Carner is back on the radar with his new single titled ‘Yesterday’ released earlier this week.
Alongside this release comes a music video directed by Carner and his brother that provides viewers with an intimate coming-of-age story; an introspective into his life as he confronts matters of social injustice. The soft, melodic introduction of the track evokes a sense of nostalgia with the use of profound lyricism and heart-tugging visuals. Benjamin Coyle-Larner (predominantly known by the name ‘Loyle Carner’) strengthens his allegiance to hip hop in this, his latest record.
The song features a collaboration with legendary producer Madlib who has been a big hero for Carner throughout his life and career. The track compounds his appreciation of classic hip hop and his own style by applying his trademark piano loops. In previous records, we can see soulful backings laid on top of ethereal beats from the likes of Jordan Rake in 2018 single ‘Ottolenghi’, and Tom Misch who has appeared on two prior albums. His 2017 record ‘Yesterday’s Gone’ received two nominations at the BRIT awards and a nomination for a Mercury Prize, while his 2019 album ‘Not Waving but Drowning’ quickly became a success after charting at #3 in the UK and even selling out a show at Alexandra Palace in under 10 minutes.
Earlier in 2020 Loyle announced a filmmaking collaboration with his brother Ryan forming the duo ‘The Coyle-Larner Brothers’, and the pair joined a growing list of talented artists at Spindle. The Carner brothers were also asked this year by EA Sports to make a film for FIFA 21 to commemorate the arrival of Eric Cantona as an icon in the ‘There is Only One King’ video.
‘Yesterday’ made its premiere on Annie Mac’s BBC Radio 1 show as her selection for ‘Hottest Record’. Despite this being the first music we’ve heard from Loyle Carner in 2020, his achievements have not been few and far between; most recently being announced as the host for a new 10 show series ‘BBC 6 Artist in Residence’ (first aired on 10/11/20 and available to listen to on BBC sounds).
The first verse of ‘Yesterday’ touches on his younger years. Alluding to his experience of being raised in South London, in part, by his grandparents in his early childhood.
“(It was only yesterday)
My grandfather getting knuckled by the pepper spray
More fire brings the riot like a renegade
Seeing if setting fire to the rain as the letters fade
No doubt I was raised out the south”
Carner has a willingness to explore emotions when it comes to talking about his music and what inspires it. His openness extends beyond his lyrics; speaking in interviews about what life is like with ADHD and often coming forward to help the fight against social and political injustices. Talking about the single Carner addresses why he approaches such topics; “It’s really just about what it is to be black and white, in a world where you pretty much have to be one or the other." Carner explains, "It hurts the way I felt about my race back then, and it’s the same way I feel now. Nothings changed since my last entry, nothings changed since last century”.
The song, actually written two years ago, speaks volumes to the on-going battle against discrimination experienced in the UK. The video for ‘Yesterday’ opens with a young boy putting on ‘Tha Alkaholiks’ AKA ‘Tha Liks’ record. A group known for their edgy style during what some considered the golden age of Hip-Hop in the 90’s - an impactful era that has heavily influenced Carner's career.
In these unprecedented times (where so many are in need of some comfort) Loyle Carner’s song ‘Yesterday’ has successfully re-provided fans with the melancholic sentiment that initially drew people to his first album as it guides us through an intimate, relatable depiction of growing up.
Watch the video here on YouTube