Don't Watch That/What You Want
Tighten up your jockstraps, Ty warns us, for the industry folk are hell bent on breaking your balls. Venting his frustration at vicious rumours, internet hacks and vengeful cuckolds, everyone's favourite smooth-voiced UK emcee enjoins us not to watch the man himself but focus instead on the music.
And on that front Ty does not disappoint, as these two tracks from his forthcoming third album Closer find him sounding confident, comfortable and in full control of his mic skills. The thumping drums and gained-up guitar stabs of Drew's production on 'Don't Watch That' provide a simple but effective undercurrent for Ty's instantly recognisable silken tones and playful lyrics, managing to sound sparse but not empty.
Though it's certainly less chart-friendly, the B-side is by far the better track. Produced by Taylor McFerrin, 'What You Want' is a lot closer to the jazzy hip-hop of Ty's Debut, the Mercury-nominated Upwards, and his witty and dextrous rapping makes this a modern classic reminiscent of New York's hallowed golden age.
It's great to see an artist really starting to shine. Long may he continue to do so.
'Smalls Change (Meditations Upon Ageing)' arrives in April.
The two awards have made for a great 72nd birthday present for the country music icon.