Premiere: Tev’n – ‘Solitude’ [mixtape]

03.12.13

North London-based R&B producer and singer Tev'n calls his debut mixtape 'Solitude' because that's how it was made. It's a release that screams of the artist's (or protagonist's) frustration and loneliness, and it's a tantalising listen that hints at so much more to come. 

From the opening line, Tev'n is pleading for your attention, and begging you on the distinctly creepy Chasing Storms to let him "follow you into the ocean"; later, on Premonitions, the refrain belts out just how "lonely" he is, before the tape ends on Rose Petal, the break-out track that appeared online last month, on which Tev'n sings listlessly, directionlessly "I've got all this love to give…". The overwhelming impression is of someone rattling around inside their own skull, fuelled by restless impulses but frustrated at every turn ("each step I take leads me back to you").

What all that energy results in is a tape full of sharp and smouldering sounds, with vocal ideas depicting a tormented and distracted mind over beats that won't sit still. Stand-out moments include the squelchy percussion and woman's moan sampled on Chasing Storm, the sparse drums matched with lush strings on instrumental Primal and the fearsome pitch-shifted rap on These Virtues. If solitude sounds this good for Tev'n, we'd be amazed if he ever left the house.