The 10-minute review – 24: Jorja Smith

This cut through the inane banter on Nick Grimshaw’s Breakfast Show this morning like a ice-blue blade through rancid butter. Desolate, chilling. Bleakness filtered through forgotten council estates and crumbling tower blocks. Sirens wailing. Neosoul. Nostalgia for an age when it was perceived there was not so much of a need to be nostalgic. Painting a portrait of paranoia and alternate realities.

I wanna turn those blue lights into strobe lights
Not blue flashing lights, maybe fairy lights
Those blue lights into strobe lights
Maybe even fairy lights, not blue flashing lights

In my age, we would have called this Curtis Mayfield or Patrik Fitzgerald and a slew of sensitive young white male critics would have lined up to sing its praises.

Spooky. Electrifying. Why should you be made to feel like you have a guilty conscience when you have done nothing wrong? In my world, every time I see a message stating I have a new emil or text message I feel a frisson of fear run down my body that it will be bad news, an awakening (and that I deserve it, too). In other worlds, every time you hear the sirens wailing you  involuntarily check your step and look for a shadow clsoe by to step into. Why do we behave this way? There is no need. Why are we made to feel this way? There is no need, really.

Relax. We can never relax.

What have you done?
(Into strobe lights) There’s no need to run
(Not blue flashing lights)If you’ve done nothing wrong
Blue lights should just pass you by (maybe even fairy lights)

In the company of Calvin fucking Harris and Shawn fucking Mendes and 5 fucking Seconds of Summer, this song from Jorja Smith is both unexpected and startling – a minor revolution, a slice of unwanted reality. So refreshing and so chilling.

What have you done?
(Into strobe lights) There’s no need to run
(Not blue flashing lights) If you done nothing wrong
Blue lights should just pass you by hmm (maybe even fairy lights)

It makes me check my speedometer.

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