Three years on from his last album, Not Waving, But Drowning, Loyle Carner has just released his third album hugo. Besides a small handful of singles in 2020—solo cut “Yesterday”, “I Wonder Why” with Scottish soul-pop maestro Joesef, and “Let It Go” with Flatbush Zombies producer Erick The Architect and transatlantic electronic duo FARR—LC’s been a little quiet on the music front, working instead on various culinary ventures, but now he’s back and in a pretty massive way.

The three singles that preceded the album—“Hate”, “Georgetown”, and “Nobody Knows (Ladas Road)” have already been described as career bests and the rest of the album has been met with almost universal critical adulation.

Themes on the album include deeper dissections of his ongoing struggles with his dyslexia and ADHD as well as his continued musings on what it means to be mixed race and how he views society’s wrestling with the subject of race, Black Lives Matter and police brutality through his own personal prism.

Production on the 10-tracker was guided by kwes.—a collaborator of Solange, Kelela and Nao—who brings exactly the sort of scale and grandeur that made his work with those three singers so unforgettable. Features-wise, he invites Afro-Guyanese playwright and poet John Agard, East London soul singers JNR Williams and Olivia Dean, like-minded rhymer Wesley Joseph, and young political force Athian Akec.

With a 2023 UK and Ireland tour already completely sold out, including a finale date at the OVO Arena Wembley, it looks as if his time away from the music game hasn’t harmed him one bit.

Get into the new album in full below.