Sleeve Notes: Kae Tempest talks through new album ‘The Line Is A Curve’ track-by-track

For our latest podcast, Kae Tempest takes us on a journey through their fourth album.


Kae Tempest has just released their fourth critically-acclaimed album, ‘The Line Is A Curve’ and we caught up with the Lewisham artist to take a deep-dive into the songs for our Sleeve Notes podcast.

Produced by Dan Carey and Rick Rubin, this record follows Kae’s 2019 album, ‘The Book Of Traps And Lessons’. ‘The Line Is A Curve’ is a communicative record, translated through the contributions of other artists including Kevin Abstract, Lianne La Havas, Grian Chatten of Fontaines DC, ássia, and Confucius MC.

Of the album, Kae says: “‘The Line Is A Curve’ is about letting go. Of shame, anxiety, isolation and falling instead into surrender. Embracing the cyclical nature of time, growth, love. This letting go can hopefully be felt across the record. In the musicality, the instrumentation, the lyricism, the delivery, the cover art, in the way it ends where it begins and begins where it ends. 


“I knew I wanted my face on the sleeve. Throughout the duration of my creative life, I have been hungry for the spotlight and desperately uncomfortable in it. For the last couple of records, I wanted to disappear completely from the album covers, the videos, the front-facing aspects of this industry. A lot of that was about my shame but I masked it behind a genuine desire for my work to speak for itself, without me upfront, commodifying what felt so rare to me and sacred. I was, at times, annoyed that in order to put the work out, I had to put myself out. But this time around, I understand it differently. I want people to feel welcomed into this record, by me, the person who made it, and I have let go of some of my airier concerns. I feel more grounded in what I’m trying to do, who I am as an artist and as a person and what I have to offer. I feel less shame in my body because I am not hiding from the world anymore. I wanted to show my face, and I dreamed of it being Wolfgang Tillmans who took the portrait.”