Speech Debelle

Sunday Dinner On A Monday

Monday Session • 2023

It displays an impressive diversity. However, what most HR departments would misinterpret as volatility is, in Elliot’s case, part and parcel of being a single-minded, driven personality. You can hear it on their fourth album as Speech Debelle. The first four tracks on their own work perfectly together. Relaxed beats meet Speech Debelle’s precisely timed lines: »I hope blessings come your way, I don’t doubt it not one day.« Love thy neighbour remains the vehicle of choice for achieving inner balance. And it continues in exactly the same way: The British rapper navigates her way through this album in a constantly reflective and calm manner.  

Of course, you could argue that this has never been any different with Speech Debelle. True, but. The instrumentals are influenced by jazz, dancehall and Jamaican rhythms, all in a direct sound that comes across even more clearly on »Sunday Dinner On A Monday«. As a result, one of the album’s strongest tracks is »A Reading«, on which Elliot raps: »You know you’re here for more than trying to survive it. Right? We lift you up,« before she launches into a hymn: »Open up your heart!« In the end, Dylema, one of the most exciting voices in contemporary British jazz, joins in. (For a moment you might think it’s a sample from a Nina Simone song). The wisdom of entire bookshelves packed into just over five minutes. This record is so to the point, so multifaceted. And only in the way that Speech Debelle could do it.