Featured Photo Credit: Charlotte Patmore
Lola Young’s debut EP, My Mind Wanders and Sometimes Leaves Completely, is a delightful riff on the lush atmospherics that she introduced to the world in 2021, but it’s also more than that. The album is, like many of the greatest works in pop music history, a deeply personal statement about the artist and her place in the world. Young’s reflective lyrics show her depth of experience for such a young artist, dealing with love and loss in an era that is too loud and too close.
While it recalls previous debuts from luminaries like Adele, My Mind Wanders is, like Amy Winehouse’s tragic international debut Back to Black, fundamentally a reflection of the artist’s demons. Young, who debuted in John Lewis Christmas Advert in 2021, floats between nostalgic and bittersweet tracks with a newfound smokiness in her voice after surgery to remove vocal nodules in 2022.
The album opens on “Stream of Consciousness,” a beautifully tragic musing on the artist’s mental health that almost serves as a sung blog post on her schizoaffective disorder, a diagnosis and mental illness she has been open about her battles with. The gut-wrenchingly honest lyrics of the song are a reminder of the kind of honest London-based pop that other artists have played with and only a few have truly succeeded at. More songs like this could be the difference-maker for this young artist, along with the viral TikTok track “Don’t Hate Me.” Young doesn’t blaze much in the way of new ground on My Mind Wanders, but her lyrics and sound are polished, mature, and poised and for fans of London pop, she is a fresh, memorable voice in a genre where too many artists are here today and gone tomorrow. Check out My Mind Wanders and Sometimes Leaves Completely for an experience of a new artist to be savored.