The first single from the long-awaited new album.
Actress - Walking Flames (feat. Sampha)
When Actress collaborated with the London Contemporary Orchestra on 2018's LAGEOS, something changed. It was the introduction of the three-dimensional acoustic world that felt like the Technicolour remake of a black and white movie. Since then, Darren Cunningham has been teasing his newest solo album, Karma & Desire, dropping a transitional mixtape of sketches in between.
Now the album is almost here. "Walking Flames" is made in collaboration with Kara-Lis Coverdale (responsible for the melodies) and Sampha (responsible for the vocals). Sampha's quivering vibrato seems the antithesis to the guarded Actress M.O., but this is unlike any Actress we've heard before: delicate piano and what sounds like a flute made into a lo-fi hip-hop beat that stutters below Sampha's clipped phrases.
The mood is right but the sounds are different. The drums are buried beneath layers of dust but tuned instruments are the focus. "Walking Flames" is almost radical in its conventional approach, at least compared to the rest of the Actress discography. What it tells us about the album is unclear, except that it will possibly be more direct than anything we've heard from Cunningham before.