Reaction Weekend

Review: Kate Tempest – The Book of Traps and Lessons

BY Charlotte Henry   /  5 July 2019

Kate Tempest, real name Kate Esther Calvert, is a multi-faceted, multi-talented artist. A poet. A novelist. A playwright. She started rapping as part of a collective in South-East London before turning her talents to other art-forms.  In 2013, aged 26, she won the Ted Hughes Prize for innovation in poetry for her performance piece Brand New Ancients, which lasted an hour and was accompanied by an orchestra.  

Previous Tempest albums put her lyrics on top of more traditional hip hop beats, building on her hip-hop and grime roots. For her third album, The Book of Traps and Lessons, things have changed. This time, Tempest, along with super producer Rick Rubin, has built a minimal, electronic soundscape that ebbs and flows, absorbing but not overbearing. There is not a note that could be considered excessive, or a beat out of place.


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