Poet and musician Kate Tempest's new album tells the story of seven strangers, living on the same street, all awake at the same moment: 4:18am. Through the course of the songs, we find out who these seven are and what's keeping them from sleeping.
The album begins in the vacuum of space and gradually zooms in, moving across time rather than through it (we remain at 4:18 all the way through the record) until a huge storm breaks over the street and brings the seven characters out of their rooms to stand in it together. We are given acutely observed details of each characters surroundings (the picture of swallows in flight on Esther's kitchen wall, or the nicotine-gold wallpaper in Jemma's hallway) before we go inside their heads and hear songs from their perspectives.
Since 2014's 'Everybody Down' Kate has written and published the poetry collection 'Hold Your Own' and the novel 'The Bricks that Built the Houses' and is on a ceaseless mission to improve her writing and sculpt her style, using each finished project as a reason to try harder to have clearer ideas and to construct tighter narratives. Her obsession is paying off: The stories she tells in 'Chaos' are intimate and heartfelt without being trite, she is uncompromising in her reflections of life in these times, yet ultimately empathic in her vision as she offers her hopeful conclusion.