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Kae Tempest announces new album, releases Brockhampton collaboration – listen

'The Line Is a Curve' is out on April 8

By Joe Goggins

Kae Tempest press shot, 2022
'The Line Is a Curve' is Tempest's first new album since 2019. (Photo: Wolfgang Tillmans/Press)

Kae Tempest has announced details of their fourth album and released its lead single, ‘More Pressure’.

The new track, the first to be released from ‘The Line Is a Curve’, is a collaboration with Kevin Abstract of Brockhampton, who reached out to Tempest to thank them for their inspiration after producer Rick Rubin played the Texas hip-hop outfit Tempest’s third album, ‘The Book of Traps and Lessons’, at his studio. You can stream ‘More Pressure’ below.

‘The Line Is a Curve’ was produced by long-time collaborator Dan Carey, and will be released via Fiction Records on April 8th. Tempest will head out on an extensive UK tour this spring in support of the record, their first since 2019; full dates will be announced this Friday (January 14). In line with Tempest’s desire for the album to be “communicative”, it features a host of collaborations, including with Fontaines DC frontman Grian Chatten, ássia, Confucius MC, and Lianne La Havas.

“The Line Is a Curve’ is about letting go,” said Tempest.  “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,” Tempest added in reference to the cover art, which was shot by photographer Wolfgang Tillmans. “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.”

In conclusion, Tempest alluded to their coming out as non-binary in August 2020; ‘The Line Is a Curve’ is their first album to be released since. “…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.”

‘The Line Is a Curve’ can be pre-ordered here