Kae Tempest has announced their fifth studio album, The Line Is A Curve, out April 8 on American Recordings and Republic Records. With the news comes the record's lead single, "More Pressure," featuring BROCKHAMPTON co-founder Kevin Abstract.
Tempest — a British poet, playwright, novelist and rapper — has been prolific of late. The Line Is A Curve follows 2019's The Book Of Traps & Lessons, which brought mainstream awareness to their musical chops, a 2020 non-fiction book titled On Connection, and Paradise, a play they premiered at London's National Theatre last year. The forthcoming album will feature Lianne La Havas, Grian Chatten of Fontaines D.C., ássia, and Confucius MC, in addition to Abstract. Its cover art (below) was shot by blonde photographer Wolfgang Tillmans.
Tempest described their vision for the album in a statement:
The Line Is A Curve’ is about letting go. Of shame, anxiety, isolation and falling instead into surrender. Embracing the cyclical nature of time, growth, love. This letting go can hopefully be felt across the record. In the musicality, the instrumentation, the lyricism, the delivery, the cover art. In the way it ends where it begins and begins where it ends. I knew I wanted my face on the sleeve. Throughout the duration of my creative life, I have been hungry for the spotlight and desperately uncomfortable in it. For the last couple of records, I wanted to disappear completely from the album covers, the videos, the front-facing aspects of this industry. A lot of that was about my shame but I masked it behind a genuine desire for my work to speak for itself, without me up front, commodifying what felt so rare to me and sacred. I was, at times, annoyed that in order to put the work out, I had to put myself out. But this time around, I understand it differently. I want people to feel welcomed into this record, by me, the person who made it, and I have let go of some of my airier concerns. I feel more grounded in what I’m trying to do, who I am as an artist and as a person and what I have to offer. I feel less shame in my body because I am not hiding from the world anymore. I wanted to show my face, and I dreamed of it being Wolfgang Tillmans who took the portrait.
"More Pressure," The Line Is A Curve's penultimate track, pairs Tempest and Abstract's pensive vocals with a cathartic, synth-laden instrumental. Watch its accompanying lyric video, and view the newly announced album's tracklist, below.
The Line Is A Curve tracklist
1. Priority Boredom
2. I Saw Light with Grian Chatten
3. Nothing To Prove
4. No Prizes with Lianne La Havas
5. Salt Coast”
6. Don’t You Ever
7. These Are The Days
8. Smoking with Confucius MC
9. Water In The Rain
11. More Pressure with Kevin Abstract