Originally written by Andre and published on Pardon My Blog.
London home-grown talent comes in different shapes and sizes, sounds and styles but Little Simz is more than just another talented individual. Not only is she in her own lane as a creative artist, but judging by her consistency and work rate, I can only foresee the name Little Simz ringing many industry bells in the near future.
Her sophomore album Stillness In Wonderland was released on December 16th, but the 15-track project wasn’t the only work of art she blessed fans with. To accompany the album release, the North London native outdid herself by also releasing a Stillness In Wonderland short film as well as issue 1 of her comic book series Welcome To Wonderland.
Little Simz utilizes the familiar concept of Alice In Wonderland to draw us into her interpretation of today’s complex world. Like most freethinking artists, Simz produces conscious rap and I love it. I mean, how can you not? If somehow you are one of those conscious rap haters then I feel sorry for you. Fear not though, this album has something for everyone… well, everyone who likes rap at least.
Soulful melodies, intricate wordplay and relevant subject matter all lay at the foundation to Stillness In Wonderland. Though Simz’s singing isn’t great vocally, her rapping definitely makes up for it. As a partially self-reflective project, she keeps it real with herself weighing up the pros and cons of her experiences and journey thus far.
Guest appearances throughout the album definitely take it up a notch by adding a range of dope verses and complimentary hooks. In particular, SiR’s contribution to One In Rotation + Wide Awake, King of Hearts featuring Grime heavyweights Chipand Ghetts and Zone 3 featuring Tilla, Josh Arcé and Chuck20 all stood out immediately as ear-candy that I couldn’t help but rewind.
In general, highlight tracks for me were Picture Perfect and No More Wonderland, the former being a prime example of Simz displaying her ability to switch flows while exerting unapologetic confidence. The latter is the album’s soothing closing track that sums up the project’s journey and symbolises the mental escape from Wonderland.
As a body of work, the interludes were beneficial as a constant reminder of the concept, which helped keep me engaged throughout. Weaker inclusions were… urm, to be honest there weren’t many, but Poison Ivy was one track that I wasn’t really feeling out of the majority that I was. Even though I picture Simz as a versatile artist and I don’t mean to box her in but I just enjoy her free-flow rapping more than anything else. When she flaunts lyrically and switches her flows! That’s what I love. The mellower, spoken-word type tunes are welcomed though.
Little Simz demonstrates a perfect balance between humble and confident. As one of the most consistent UK artists I’ve come across, her passion combined with her ability to create quality-driven music is refreshing. Overall I see Stillness In Wonderland as a musical adventure that consists of thought-provoking lyrics but shines brightest through its amazing production. No matter how many times I listened through, the instrumentation constantly had me bopping my head unconsciously. To be honest, this album was nothing short of a sophomore success.