We love Laurence Guy and we’ve been waiting for this week for a while. Landing with classy understatedness on Seb Wildblood’s charming Church, comes Saw You For the First Time – after teasing us with a string of EP’s, Laurence Guy’s debut album. It’s also the South London label’s most recent LP since Ishmael’s sumptuous Sometime In Space of last year.
For fans of the label, this LP truly encapsulates the sound and ethos of everything Church is about. It speaks of the collectiveness and friendship within their work that Ishmael lays down the melody with his usual sax-aplomb on arguably the album’s stand out track ‘Anchor.’ Steve Spacek’s ethereal vocals take centre stage in ‘Drum Is A Woman,’ but really the strength of Laurence’s work is that taken individually or collectively, each track is a story in itself, somehow seamlessly weaving into the next. It’s a winding journey but, one that is about so much more than blissed out house music.
The whispering synths of ‘Orchard Road’ have now solved the conundrum of anyone desperately clamouring to find an opener for their set; ‘Wichita Falls’ ushers in dulcet euphoria and is already becoming a hyper-chill staple; there really are too many highlights (including the artwork).
It’s been a journey and it could not have culminated at a better time. The album is made for these long summer nights and I have nothing but respect for the continued way that Church goes about its business. From laying on the most killer line-up of a long overdue Boiler Room session in October of last year, to the faultless curation of their stage providing the major memories at this year’s Peckham Rye Music Festival – Seb and his band of merry men are just doing what they love, and it’s a pleasure to be on the receiving end of some of that.
As a fellow Guildford reveller – hats off fully to Laurence. All those ventures to Ben’s Collectors Records have borne some serious fruit – I just hope there’s something left in that Surrey water for all of us. And you can catch the man himself back to back with his old mucker Mr Wildblood down our good friends Labyrinth’s day session on September 2nd. As long as someone provides the weather – they’re sure to provide the perfect soundtrack.
Words by Marcus P