Album Review: Frankie Stew and Harvie Gunn – The Lakes

In Hip Hop by Josh Hood

The Lakes is the highly anticipated LP release from Brighton-based hip-hop duo Frankie Stew and Harvey Gunn. The 7-track project showcases balmy melodies, mixed with mellow, introspective lyricism. Producer Harvey Gunn showcases an incredible handle of synthy arrangements, accompanied by haunting samples and a classic boom-bap beat to create a beautifully balanced sound. Meanwhile, lyricist Frankie Stew’s punchy, yet understated, delivery matches this perfectly, speaking to the musical chemistry that pervades the entire LP. Pay particular attention to track Black Water as a perfect showcase of the pair’s creative capacity.

Frankie Stew continually questions what exactly constitutes the natural, and ‘unnatural’. To advertise a life within artificial environs, ‘on phones’ and in the search of quick, convenient fixes, is to miseducate and misguide. For him, a lack of nature leaves him feeling lost and isolated – navigating through ‘black waters’. In turn, The Lakes is the elixir for everything he despises, the antonym of the unnatural. In this utopia, SMS texts are rejected for face-to-face relationships, and the ‘express’ life is disregarded in favour of nurturing and study. Only in the pursuit of these authentic, real truths can we become inspired to create. Discover the shores of distant lakes, dip a toe in their waters, and find a true source of inspiration.