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Let Them Eat Chaos: the Poetry and Prophecy of Kate Tempest

– by Madeleine Oliver

Let Them Eat Chaos is the new album from poetic dynamo Kate Tempest. This renegade of the spoken word has given us another example of her way with words and powerfully sombre content.

Tempest is a talented poet, playwright, artist and novelist from South London with a bone to pick about the world we live in and a potent way of doing it. Some might know her for her musical albums like Everybody Down while others from her Sunday Times-bestselling book The Bricks That Built The Houses. But today it’s her new album, and everybody’s talking about it.

A sample of her freshest creation can be found as a trailer, showcasing the long poem that shares a title with the album. It’s an interesting piece with a startling beginning. Straight off the mark, Tempest puts a statement to you that emerges from the darkness with passion. “Picture a vacuum.” she says. You picture a vacuum…but there’s not much to picture. And while you’re contemplating the irony of this, Tempest powers on.

We start to form the image we struggled with in the beginning as her words describe our universe, our solar system, the planets and finally, earth. It’s when we reach the earth that her real message is uncovered. Sadly, her words form a dystopic vision with power stations and pollution she describes as the “sadness of mothers as they watch the fates of their children”. And we reflect.

Let Them Eat Chaos seems to confront the fate of our world. It argues the downfall of mother nature, greed, consumption and division. And that’s all in the first three minutes. As she describes the forces that may destroy us, we are hit with the force of her album. Let’s hope her message reaches not only fans, but those who may be able to prevent her poetic predictions.

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