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Video of the Week #228: L.A Salami – ‘Desperate Times, Mediocre Measures’

‘Desperate Times, Mediocre Measures’ is the new single and video from L.A Salami. The first taste of new music from the Londoner since 2020’s album The Cause of Doubt and Reason to Have Faith, it arrives with the announcement of L.A Salami’s fourth album Ottoline, set for release on 30th September, via Sunday Best Recordings.

The single and its brilliant video with its scenes that place Salami in the centre of the workplace, bar rooms, every day and the protests, it tackles the “cyclical and corrosive nature of power structures across our societies” and the inevitable impact that has on our day to day lives and decision-making processes. Built on a cycling bed of beats, grooving guitars, and piano tinkles, he laces this rich brew with his poignant and prescient words that tackle inequalities, prejudice and frustrations and then encourages people to build change from a place of love and positivity, rather than out of fear.  This approach is evident throughout Ottoline foregoing all genre-based boundaries whilst looking at, documenting and evaluating the world around him from his own perspective.

L.A Salami’s journey of self-discovery is one that extends far beyond music. Born Lookman Adekunle Salami in Peckham, to a Nigerian mother and absent father, various circumstances meant he spent the first few years of his childhood in a foster home. This feeling of being an outsider permeates his creative output, whether that’s music or the prints he produces alongside.

Working with a vastly expanded sonic palette, Ottoline finds Lookman looking to some of the modern titans of rap for inspiration, Kanye West, Drake and Kendrick Lamar. Whereas previous releases have leant towards a more folk-lead sound, Ottoline is brimming with boundless creativity and experimentation.

God is in the TV is an online music and culture fanzine founded in Cardiff by the editor Bill Cummings in 2003. GIITTV Bill has developed the site with the aid of a team of sub-editors and writers from across Britain, covering a wide range of music from unsigned and independent artists to major releases.