Molly Payton - 'Slack'

7/10

Last year's lockdowns and travel restrictions were obviously a deeply troubling time for all of us, but especially those trapped overseas away from their loved ones. For New Zealand-born but London-based singer and songwriter Molly Payton this became a very real reality, as her home country is still resistant to letting travellers enter, meaning she spent the entirety of last year missing those most closest to her. But not one to sit and let it happen in vain, she began to express her sorrow through a series of songs and deliver the new mini-album 'Slack', a record brimming with self-realisations.

While it would have been easy to create a dark and mournful release filled with relatable emotions and humbled textures, 'Slack' is more than just another lockdown full-length. Throughout this new collection, we hear Molly grow beyond the confines of her present situation and begin to embrace a new beginning in her life, one that she now finds comfort in. The progressive nature of this new offering is one of its most endearing qualities. She has this wonderful ability to project rich and heartfelt prose into her work, allowing us to really feel the power of her songwriting, and deliver a warm and embracing collection in the process.

With only eight tracks to its name, 'Slack' does feel a lot shorter than it could have been, but still manages to create this fresh and inviting aesthetic that permeates beyond her conventional direction. Born out of a personal struggle with loneliness, it opens up far beyond herself and forges a strong and identifiable bond with the listener, something we have rarely heard so far this year.

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