TRICKY - ADRIAN THAWS
"Calling it Adrian Thaws is saying you don't really know me," says Tricky, explaining the title of his 11th album. "So many times people have tried to put a finger on me and every album I go to a different place."
Tricky has always used music to explore the different, sometimes contradictory facets of his background and personality. "I can be anything I want when I do an album," he says. "I could be a woman, I could be a man. It's great to be able to be all these different things."
Adrian Thaws is Tricky's second release on his own False Idols label via !K7, hard on the heels of his 2013 album, also called False Idols. One thing that makes Adrian Thaws such a gripping, commanding album is the prominence of Tricky's own vocals but, as always, he's brought company. Returning from False Idols is Irish-Italian singer Francesca Belmonte, who sings on Lonnie Listen, Something in the Way, I Had a Dream and new single Nicotine Love, Tricky's first full-blown house track. "Fran can take an influence and make it her own," Tricky says approvingly. German-Nigerian singer Nneka, who also sang on False Idols, reappears on the smoky hip hop blues of Keep Me in Your Shake. "She's really easy to work with," he says. "I wish she was more well known. We need more women like that."
There are new faces too. British grime MC Bella Gotti (formerly known as Nolay) is a dynamically belligerent presence on the two-fisted hip hop tracks Gangster Chronicle and Why Don't You. "Her style is so aggressive," says Tricky. "There's nothing worse than weak hip hop. If I'm going to do it I want it to be intense." American MC Mykki Blanco, who joins Francesca on Lonnie Listen's android hip hop, impressed Tricky when he supported him at a show in Germany. "I saw this dude in a mini-skirt and high heels and he was so aggressive on stage. Some of the crowd were like what the fuck? Imagine a big dude with a woman's rage - that's someone who can do some serious damage."
The confidence and energy of Adrian Thaws reflects Tricky's newfound sense of stability. After several years of uncertainly changing labels and managers, Tricky finally feels settled with !K7, where he's tidying up a lot of loose ends.
"I've been all over the place for years," he admits. "No discipline. I've just been making a mess and moving on. I can't really blame anybody. It is what it is. But I'm getting my shit together. Now I'm developing as a person my music's getting stronger."
This renewed purpose explains why Adrian Thaws arrives just 16 months after False Idols. There are more projects on the way including a covers record (his first since Nearly God) and Francesca Belmonte's debut album. Tricky has often found it difficult dealing with the music industry but making records is second nature and now there's nothing holding him back.
"Music is easy," he says with a husky laugh. "You've just got to be honest with yourself."
ADRIAN THAWS TRACKLIST
1. Sun Down feat. Tirzah
2. Lonnie Listen feat. Mykki Blanco and Francesca Belmonte
3. Something In The Way feat. Francesca Belmonte
4. Keep Me In Your Shake feat. Nneka
5. The Unloved (Skit)
6. Nicotine Love feat. Francesca Belmonte
7. Gangster Chronicles feat. Bella Gotti
8. I Had A Dream feat. Francesca Belmonte
9. My Palestine Girl feat. Blue Daisy
10. Why Don't You feat. Bella Gotti
11. Silly Games feat. Tirzah
12. Right Here feat. Oh Land
13. Silver Tongue - When You Go