By Darcy Nathan
In their latest EP The Paintings on the Wall, Nottingham boys Local Healers and fellow Notts veteran Louis Cypher team up to remind us all of just how important the arts are in tough times. Commenting on the lack of Government funding and outrage in light of the ‘Rethink, Reskill, Reboot’ campaign, the collection of tracks reinforce the value of the arts industry, a community which the Government has essentially turned its back on.
Despite the EP positioning itself as a bright celebration of the arts with its jazz-infused lo-fi instrumentals provided by Belgian producer Faux Sala, the boys aim to evoke a deeper sense of introspection on the importance of art in a society where everything else seems restricted. The opening track ‘Renaissance,’ released as a single on December 4th, poses the question “what happens when there’s no paintings on the wall?”
Through the homage to the title of the EP, the boys ask us to consider the importance of the arts and culture in our society. Indeed, the metaphor for the wider reflection of the arts on society speaks to the majority who have found respite in artistry at some point during this year – the track reminds listeners of the potency of creative expression, now more than ever. As Loco, one half of Local Healers put it, the track “explores the current and possible future struggles for all kinds or artists.”
The EP has an extra focus on mental health, exploring the idea of the daunting nature of many of the rules and regulations we have been subject to in 2020. ‘Water for Flowers’ promotes the deliberation of growth through its references to photosynthesis and moving on from past relationships. The tune highlights the retrospective outlook on individual progression, an acknowledgement of the “collective significant changes and traumas in our lives” Cypher recognises over the past year.
Local Healer’s raw 90’s Hip-Hop style and high energy, teamed with Cypher’s lyrical prowess creates a perfect canvas for the fanatic positive premonition in ‘Neva Left.’ The repeated chant, “Ayo I’m back up in this bitch like I never left!” serves as a reminder of good things to come, a prelude to when we can finally get back to revelling in the music scene in the flesh.
With Cypher’s long-standing history on the Notts hip-hop scene, and Local Healers having endlessly performed throughout 2019, it’s without a doubt that this collab will refuse to be stifled by the tough current climate for those in the arts. The Paintings On The Wall EP will be released on January 29th 2021, and if you can’t wait till then, you can stream the single ‘Renaissance’ from producer Faux Sala’s YouTube here.