Tiece is one tough cookie. This British artist cut her teeth as a singer and songwriter with acts including Rodney P, The Herbaliser, and Rhymeskeemz, as well as one half of electro-soul group Girlhood. But graduating from a team player to a solo artist with the patience and confidence to write and self-produce their own album is a daunting prospect at the best of times. On her debut album, Tiece shows tenacity and quiet beauty, as she explores toxic relationships, self-reliance and growth.
With the release of her first EP, WMN, Tiece described her music as “witchy trip-hop”, which is a fitting summary of the atmospheric electronic soul she’s been honing in the last two-and-a-half years. Multi-layered singing and backing vocals that create rhythmic patterns are a staple of many of the songs here, such as ‘Intro’, which is skilfully built from looping finger snaps and hushed vocals. There are echoes of Portishead and Ghostpoet in the songs ‘Explain’ and ‘Lucky 13’, while the album’s title track and the jazzy ‘Earth to Earth’ are standout grooves. Tiece programmed and self-produced the entire album, having taught herself Logic, and the care and imagination she put into each song is strong: it feels cohesive and honest.
And speaking of honesty, the mood on Nowhere, Now Here is melancholy for the most part. It’s been a uniquely lonely year, and here Tiece vents, sweetly and soulfully, about unreliable wannabe lovers (‘Tricky Business’), dialling acquaintances when yearning for a fix (‘Phonebox Feelings’), and finding her own peace amid the malise of modern life (‘Melange’). But while the themes may be sombre, there’s something wonderfully meditative and chilled about this album – perhaps driven by her love of horticulture, which is referenced throughout.
Tiece’s been doing music longing enough to know how the grind can break you. But in the space of 12 difficult months, she’s helped complete Girlhood’s sun-kissed album and her own self-produced debut album full of music for the midnight hour. What an accomplishment. Tiece’s album is a careful blend of organic and synthetic sounds, transient sensations and relatable anecdotes. Like a private garden, it’s a place you can keep coming back to for quiet comfort.
Nowhere, Now Here is out now on Crocodile Records. It’s available to stream on all platforms, and can be purchased through Tiece’s website.
Image: courtesy of Tiece