Lost & Found

Lost & Found

“I’ve been lost,” Jorja Smith declares on Lost & Found’s twinkling “February 3rd”. “Then I found myself—but I’m constantly finding myself.” It’s a lesson inspired by the singer’s decision to move out of her small town of Walsall at the age of 18 and live with an aunt in London, in order to pursue her dreams. Feeling lost is also the overarching theme of Smith’s acclaimed 2018 debut album, with each track cleverly toying with a different uncertainty that comes to define one’s twenties. Lost & Found is a collection of songs Smith wrote from age 16 to 21, and her precocious knack for storytelling brings to mind fellow British powerhouse Adele (who broke onto the scene with her own sage debut, 19). Lost & Found marks a beyond-promising start for Smith, who’s often compared to Amy Winehouse and Lauryn Hill—the latter of whom she directly channels, lyrically and melodically, on the hip-hop-tinged “Lifeboats (Freestyle)”. Genre clearly wasn’t at the forefront of Smith’s mind when she pieced together the 12-track set, which skillfully weaves together dancehall, gospel, hip-hop, pop, dance and jazz influences. On “Blue Lights”, Smith explores racial injustice, and on the poignant “Goodbyes”, she gracefully explores love and loss.

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