Mabel has announced her Irish return with an outdoor performance under canvas at Fairview Park on June 28th 2022.
Tickets priced €49.90 inclusive go on sale at 10am this Friday via www.ticketmaster.ie
In the year before the clubs closed their doors, The Big Night Out has achieved a rare level of reverence in modern pop: a glitterball of loss and hope, echoing good times past and the hope of better days ahead. It’s a theme Mabel takes in bold, brilliant new ways on her upcoming album, ‘About Last Night…’: a vivid and hyperreal journey from the unknown start to the messy end of the night out that never was. Throughout, songs transport the minutiae – getting ready; feeling invincible; clocking an ex; crying in the bathroom; friends lifting you up; the group stumbling home – and ultimately transform normality into the majestic. A notable shift from the disco-fantasia which blossomed early in the pandemic, ‘About Last Night…’ instead distills the sweaty, grotty and frankly unglamorous side of noughties club-culture, with influences spanning house, trance, rave, R&B, and the melting pot of young London as elevated by Mabel to the world stage. No mere physical room (whether a club, house-party, or general coming-together), it’s this emotional space in which Mabel herself admits she has “come back to life”: a still-just-twenty-five-year-old whose online soundtrack of nighttime euphoria links arm-in-arm with processing her own, life-changing few years growing up in the public eye. On her sophisticated new music, Mabel’s girl-next-door candour remains, but in embracing dance music’s generational ethos of expression, liberation and inclusion, you witness a woman moving firmly to her own beat.
The project is introduced by first single, ‘Let Them Know’ – an anthem of positivity, defiance, and dressing up with nowhere to go, which Mabel wrote alongside Raye and SG Lewis in the shared mission of creating 2021’s answer to ‘Vogue’. By this stage of lockdown, Mabel had skipped the national grief of banana-bread-baking in favour of throwing herself into dance classes (she can now do the splits), obsessively re-watching ‘Paris Is Burning’, ‘Pose’ and ‘Drag Race’, and reflecting on the club as a historical haven for the marginalised. “My Mum has always been part of the LGBTQ+ community,” Mabel says, “and I grew up in an unconventional house that always had amazing Queens and all sorts of backgrounds around me. I wanted to pay tribute to that energy and write something that was deliberately over-confident for me, but came from a place of being vulnerable.” This empowered, feel-good blueprint is evident in Mabel’s music to come, which she made IRL and remotely between stints locked-down in London and Los Angeles. Further names on the record include friends and frequent songwriting partners MNEK, Jax Jones, Kamille, Steve Mac, Jordan Riley and Tre Jean-Marie as well as new collaborators from pop’s top-table, like Stargate (Rihanna, Katy Perry), Tommy Brown (Ariana Grande, Victoria Monet), Jozzy (Beyoncé, Lil Nas X), and Aldae (Justin Bieber).
If debut album ‘High Expectations’ documented a coming-of-age (and the fact you may actually spend a lifetime figuring it all out), her new material finds Mabel emboldened with experience. Even its open-ended title, ‘About Last Night…’, appears like a female-led conversation: there’s the hedonistic haze of the after-hours, but also the sense of an autonomous woman in charge of her narrative. “I want to inspire people to control the room, and tell their own stories. Especially as a female, we’re told that to please a man we need to be pretty, funny, sexy, but not too-sexy, as god forbid a man might think you’re dominant. Right now, I am really unapologetic about who I am, and I want the world of this album to feel like a club, with different rooms, different moods, and all walks of life welcome. Embrace your wild side, let go of the idea of perfection, and be unafraid.”
Pure (bleached) Blonde Ambition, 2021 saw Mabel channel the subcultures around UK club music into dance-pop with a superstar-touch. She focuses on the tiny, fleeting choices that constitute The Big Night Out, but also those decisions that can be truly life-changing. Here is a project essentially about learning to live for the moment, and the hard-won wisdom that whatever there is to say ‘About Last Night…’ can wait until tomorrow, when the sun will come up again.