British rapper Loyle Carner had to grow up fast. You don't need to do more than listen to his 2014 EP A Little Late to know that; by the time you're through listening to a release that searingly confessional, you feel like you know the artist like your best friend. Carner's lyrics tell autobiographical stories of love, loss and abandonment, and his new single "Tierney Terrace"—out July 24th on paradYse Records—is perhaps his most hard-hitting yet.
"Just off Brixton Hill, Tierney Terrace was where my grandparents lived," Carner told The FADER over email. "It became a bit of a refuge for me when my mum was working late. I learnt a lot from both of them, and at times, felt my grandfather was the only man I could look up to. I wrote this song a while back, after a run-in with my biological dad."
Through that nostalgic filter, Carner contrasts the cozy sanctuary of his grandparents' house with the bitterness he feels towards a father figure who turned his back. All I wanted was a fucking man, to guide me through the darkness, hold my fucking hand, he spits on the hook. Every time that motherfucker ran, I didn't understand. But at Tierney Terrace—he remembers over soft, church-like chords, with a voice so raw it's bruising to listen to—he'd sip brandy like my grandma do, because she'd hold my hands until my hands turned blue.