You are using an outdated browser.
Please upgrade your browser to improve your experience.

The Fifth Season
←  LTNC019  →
LAFAWNDAH - The Fifth Season [LTNC019] © Latency
LAFAWNDAH - The Fifth Season [LTNC019] © Latency
LAFAWNDAH - The Fifth Season [LTNC019] © Latency
1. Old Prayer
2. Don't Despair
3. You, at the End
4. The Stillness
5. L'Imposteur
6. Le Malentendu (feat. Lala &ce)

Lafawndah’s journey to her current incarnation as a devotional pop polymath has wound as unpredictably as her compositional style. 

2019 was a banner year for Lafawndah. Ancestor Boy, released on her own imprint Concordia that spring, was met with enthusiastic acclaim. Featuring performances from Jon Hassell, Kelsey Lu, Gaika, and more, it featured on Best of the Year lists from the likes of Dazed, Resident Advisor, Bandcamp, as well as collecting praise from NPR, Vogue, and The Guardian. The ceaseless artist returns with The Fifth Season’, on Latency.

Inspired by her encounter with author NK Jemisin’s Broken Earth trilogy, Lafawndah both pays homage to and extends further the elemental, emotionally charged myths of Jemisin’s books. These are stories where a broken heart can tear apart a continent. In contrast to the precision-tuned industrial productions of Ancestor Boy, The Fifth Season breathes a different kind of volatility. Inviting a new degree of spontaneity and freedom into her process, Lafawndah’s collaborators — Theon Cross (tuba), Nathaniel Cross (trombone), Valentina Magaletti (percussions), and Nick Weiss (keyboards) — encircle her confrontational character studies with iridescent, cinematic chamber-bass moves. 

These are torch songs for when it rains ash, creation ballads for when the earth turns inside out. Ghosts of Art Ensemble of Chicago and Rahsaan Roland Kirk colour the air, yet Lafawndah’s mastery of pop song craft, vocal production and razor-honed clarity of purpose cut through. In addition to the Lafawndah originals, The Fifth Season features interpretations of hybrid-folk godfather Beverly Glenn-Copeland’s Don’t Despair and acid-impressionist prodigy Lili Boulanger’s Old Buddhist Prayer. Album highlight You, at the End deploys a poem by poet-performer Kate Tempest to aching, rift-tearing ends, and french dream-trap wraith Lala &ce features on Le Malentendu.

The Fifth Season anchors Lafawndah as a descendent of forebearers Brigitte Fontaine and Scott Walker — a born theatric whose acid humor warps the sub-continental undertow of her emotive storytelling. Lafawndah’s elementalism on The Fifth Season finds her imagination more agile than ever, and recent live shows have evinced a drive to push these compositions further out, deeper, and more aflame

September 08, 2020

Nick Weiss (keyboards)
Theon Cross (tuba)
Nathaniel Cross (trombone)
Valentina Magaletti (percussion)


Vinyl + Digital + Streaming


Frederic Stader


Honest Jon’s


Studio Hugo Blanzat

Cover art

Marguerite Humeau