loyle carner - yesterday's gone

By Annabel McLean


Benjamin Coyle-Larner, or Loyle Carner as he is more commonly known, is humble, mature and self-assured. The day before his debut album was released, he was busy serving beef brisket as part of his cooking initiative - 'Chilli Con Carner' - to help children with ADHD. Carner exudes a willingness to help others and naturally his music reflects this. Yesterday’s Gone is introspective and powerful. The words share stories past and present, memories of relatives gone but not forgotten. Its central focus on relationships enables the music to resonate with every listener, whatever the connection may be. The album’s formidable opening The Isle of Arran, complete with gospel choir, focuses on paternal figures; Carner remembers his inspirational grandfather yet laments his father’s desertion, ‘I wonder why my dad didn’t want me’.  Florence on the other hand tracks a positive break in the album: still reflecting on family, he dreams of cooking with an imaginary little sister. Not only does Carner write about his family and friends, he includes them too. Sun of Jean is his ‘favourite track’, in which he incorporates a recording of his deceased stepfather playing the piano and his mother reciting a poem, poignantly suggesting the song would ‘immortalise them and bring them together for one last time’. Damselfly is another collaboration with pal Tom Misch, whilst No Worries includes friend and manager Rebel Kleff and rapping legend and inspiration Jehst. Furthermore, these family connections are not exclusive to the music itself, but can be traced to right to its surface. The album’s cover is an extended family portrait, including everyone involved in its creation.


Yesterday’s Gone is honest, deep and relevant. It puts Loyle Carner on the map; he is an incredibly talented young man. Indeed as his mum aptly puts it, ‘he was and is a complete joy/ The world is his/That scribble of a boy’.