You’re sitting in your apartment alone watching the doorknob, hoping to see it turn any minute now. Out of the corner of your eye, you monitor your phone waiting for it to light up with a text message or maybe even a phone call. Hours go by and you’re still sitting patiently by yourself, but that doorknob never turns and your phone remains speechless. It’s at that point you realize: they’re not coming. Would you really blame a man for turning to the bottle in this situation? That feeling of emotional purgatory is captured in Loyle Carner’s “The Seamstress,” the 8th track on his debut album Yesterday’s Gone. Much like the rest of the album, “The Seamstress” has a softer and sorrowful melody that tells a story and separates itself as very unique and independent from most mainstream hip-hop.
The song begins with hushed guitar strums, a static-like record player, and random sounds from Carner himself that range from defeated sighs to coughs and sniffles. At the 20 second mark a basic but eloquent drum beat kicks in followed by a shaker and a sparingly used saxophone. When Carner starts rapping, he tells us immediately that he’s “been sinking a lot of whiskey.” Carner refers to his alcoholic tendencies throughout the song, eventually confessing that he’s become this way because of a woman; one that has him “woven like the seamstress.” He goes on to describe their dysfunctional relationship and how it eventually drove her to leave him. Now Carner’s stuck thinking about this girl, drinking and holding out hope that she’s coming back – but she never does. The song ends with Carner looking back on the times before he became emotionally involved with this girl, living single and happy. Much like “+44” and “Damselfly,” “The Seamstress” is raw, genuine and all too real. Similar to a bottle of whiskey, this song gives strength and courage to a sad and lonely soul.