This track opens on the nighttime rumble of a hushed city street. No beats drop. No music builds. The only instrument on this 49 second song is Carner’s voice.
This barebones sound makes me feel like I know Carner—like I am his personal confident, learning of his desperation, his loneliness. It’s as if we sit in the open window of a second-story building together one night; ambient traffic hums in our ears, streetlights pollute the sky, and regrets plague his words. He spits out the duality of “did” and “should have” with a pain that threatens to leak from his eyes. He realizes early on that sending a 2am text “to the girl you never slept with” is “a sugar soaked sentiment for skeptics.” He’s honest. “No façade in your heart,” he raps. “You don’t mean what you said in that text. And you don’t mean what you’ll be telling her next.” He tells me he’s lonely, or, at least, I imagine he does, late at night in that open window. That’s what this track does to you. It makes you feel close to a perfect stranger.
“+44” is an intimate look into one of the many relationships this album explores. It continues the attitude of Mean It In The Morning, and carries it on into the first lines of Damselfly: “It’s been in a minute since I’ve been with some women, not ‘cause they’ve been lacking, just I’ve been lacking the feelin’.” This 22-year-old from south London provides a refreshing change of pace for British hip-hop. The track takes responsibility, rather than blame. It’s a private look into romantic entanglement, why we long for it, and why we stay away. Have a listen on Spotify here.