Celeste’s “Stop This Flame” hits you like the Second Coming. The single teases her forthcoming album Celeste. Slated for release in 2020, the LP will be the full-length debut of the talented U.K. singer.
It is appropriate that Celeste Waite’s middle name is Epiphany. Her voice and soul-infused R&B are timeless styles that draw on popular inspirations. Her musical persona is the true revelation. She can deliver a track with unique smoothness or cut through the music with attention-grabbing authority.
The desperate lyrics for “Stop This Flame” foster the conviction in her voice. She sings as a lover who won’t take no for answer… again. “My heart goes up/ my heart goes down. We fall in love/and we fall we back out. I’ll give you anything you want. Anything you want. Anything, anything/just don’t tell me no.”
The singer, who performs under her first name, has the same qualities as some generational talents. Like Michael Kiwanuka, she offers a musical blend that is simultaneously retro and relevant in the contemporary recording climate. “Stop This Flame” has the same explosive nature as Adele’s “Rolling In The Deep.” The track begins with a Dave Brubeck jazz instrumental before transitioning into Celeste’s strong-lunged vocals.
The comparison to Adele also fits the 21 singer’s stylistic timeline. Her debut 19 showcased her epic range. It wasn’t until her sophomore LP was released that she shed the singer-songwriter label and became defined by her range.
Albeit with a much smaller sample size, “Stop This Flame” is an outlier in Celeste’s early work. To date she has released music as singles, EPs, and the collection Compilation 1.1. This scattered body of work is more Amy Winehouse than Aretha Franklin, but that changes with this eye-opening single.
Whether or not this is a more pop-oriented direction for Celeste, the single establishes the artist as she takes the next step in her career. Following a decade that saw the rise of several leading U.K. frontwomen, Celeste is among the first U.K. singers to begin their legacy in the 2020s.