“I don’t really like new music that much,” said John Glacier, in an aside which rings as icily as her moniker. “There’s not much that really grabs my attention.” Honesty – not only to others, but also herself – seems to be the one defining trait of the Hackney-based rapper, who has largely stayed in the shadows, glowing only faintly and intermittently. This is about to change with her debut project SHILOH: Lost For Words, produced by London-born Vegyn, who has worked with Frank Ocean and Travis Scott. Shiloh follows the single, ‘If Anything’, which marries an eerie yet peaceful instrumental with her laidback vocals.
Apart from featuring on Dean Blunt’s experimental hip-hop project, Babyfather, and London rapper LYAM’s new single ‘Origami’ alongside Shygirl, plus a handful of lauded online releases, John Glacier’s officially released output is scarce. She leans into the ebb and flow of nocturnal modern life, sometimes posting on Soundcloud like it’s her diary, with no-filter track titles like ‘A Child was Sad so I made this infront of her to make her laugh.’ With deft, immersive production, John Glacier’s slick delivery shines through the lo-fi filter, her voice caressing the drum beats, amid references to subletting and morgues.
My personal favourite, ‘Some Other Thing,’ feels like an outpouring of healing, expressed in punk-poetry: “When trouble left, stayed with the deaf, as I held onto less, shit on my chest, like I flew with the birds that fell from the nest.” Capturing every moment from a flickering streetlight to hazy, lovedrunk faces, SHILOH wanders the streets of London, and into John Glacier’s head. “Whatever bullshit I feel, I just throw it out there,” she explains. Whatever it is, it’s the making of a legend – one that is sure to take UK rap into unexpected, thrilling places.
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