“Searching”, Speech DeBelleI’ve no idea who Speech DeBelle is, but this is one of the prettiest and most vulnerable songs I’ve heard in a long time. I gather she’s English, and the choice to rap over an acoustic guitar and not much else definitely keeps things sincere enough to avoid the traps of white British hip-hop. This feels like reading some really sad girl’s diary, rooting for her to make it, but not sure that she will.
By Dan Solomon
Review in IDJ - November 2008
SINGLE OF THE WEEK SPEECH DEBELLE – Searching (Big Dada) - Sublime London hip hop flavours over a chilled out inner city acoustic folky tune and some beautifully delicate guitar that skips over some clever drum ‘n bass flavoured rhythm. All quiet and restrained and powerfully delicate and they say misery loves company. And she throws up such delicate soothing sounds, such a youthful voice and you kind of think things are all good in her world until you focus in on what she’s actually saying and what she’s gone through and how she’s quietly lashing out at everything and how grim everything really is. Even the cats were (are?) filthy in her world and the bleak outlook really does contrast with that beautiful music, gets right in to your head and stops you - find yourself worrying about her. Is this her positive response? Is this too bleak? Dirty needles and all hope gone, but then it can’t be? Not when the music is so full of uplifting positive hope? Damn there’s some serious mind-messing depth here, and she sounds so young and how can she come out with all this? What the hell has gone on (still goes on?) in her world? Want to go out now find her now and make sure she’s OK! Searching searching, this is powerful London hip hop, this is something really powerfully different - the contrasts, the beauty and the bleak, the warmth, the depth (and the soothing instrumental second track that really is needed). Catch twenty two at two a.m in the hostel and whooooooosh! This debut single certainly is something – Acoustic soulful emotive hip hop and she calls it speech therapy – that and a whole whole lot more.
RESONANCE 104.4FM - SINGLE OF THE WEEK