Kae Tempest has shared a new song entitled “I Saw Light” with Grian Chatten, and you can watch the official video below.
“I Saw Light” arrives ahead of Tempest’s highly anticipated fourth album The Line Is A Curve set for release on April 8 via American Recordings/Republic Records. It is the fourth album from the Lewisham-based artist and has been produced by long term collaborator Dan Carey, alongside executive production by Rick Rubin, and features additional collaborations with Kevin Abstract, Lianne La Havas, ássia, and Confucius MC. The record also follows the critically acclaimed play Paradise, which premiered at the National Theatre in London in 2021.
The Line Is A Curve showcases some stunning collaborations, in most cases friends of Kae, “I Saw Light” is no exception and features Fontaines DC frontman Grian Chatten telling his poem. Grian and Confucius MC also provide the backing vocals throughout the album. Kae says, “So glad that true poet of our age Grian Chatten joined me on my new song “I Saw Light”.
After the experience of touring previous album, The Book of Traps and Lessons, Tempest realized that they wanted The Line Is A Curve to be a communicative record. The concept manifested itself both in the contributions of other artists and during the recording process, when Tempest decided to do three vocal takes in one day, to three different generations of people; “a man of 78 who I’d never met; a woman of 29, the poet Bridget Minamore, who is a good friend of mine; and then to three young fans of 12, 15, and 16 who had responded to a social media post.”
“The Line Is A Curve is about letting go – of shame, anxiety, isolation, and falling instead into surrender” Tempest says. “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.
“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.
“But 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. I wanted to show my face and I dreamed of it being Wolfgang Tillmans who took the portrait.”