Written after the birth of her first child (and just before the arrival of her second), Colourgrade finds London’s Tirzah Mastin taking a more experimental approach, wrapping moments of unadorned beauty in sheets of distortion, noise, woozy synthesizers, and listing guitars. It’s decidedly lo-fi—not the sort of album that actively invites you in. And yet, like its predecessor—her acclaimed 2018 debut LP, Devotion—this is naturally intimate music, alt-R&B that offers brief meditations on the coming together of both bodies (“Tectonic”) and collaborators (“Hive Mind,” which, in addition to seal-like background effects, features vocals from touring bandmate and South London artist Coby Sey). Working again alongside longtime friend and collaborator Mica Levi, Mastin sounds free here, at ease even as she obfuscates. On “Beating,” as she sings to her partner over a skittering drum machine and a layer of gaseous hiss, she stops for a moment to clear her throat, as if in quiet conversation late at night. “You got me/I got you,” she sings. “We made life/It’s beating.”

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