Given it’s a subject that’s been the cornerstone of popular music since time immemorial, it’s no mean feat to be able to write a collection of love songs that sound startlingly original and fresh in 2018. Over deconstructed, minimalist sound collages from her lifelong best friend, skewed popoddball turned Oscar-nominated composer Mica Levi, 31- year-old singer Tirzah takes well-thumbed source material, strips out romantic hyperbole and delivers it with the gloss-free frankness of a young mum who’s had to make a long-term relationship work. “Being a mum and in a relationship must have affected it,” notes Tirzah, at home in Ladywell, South-East London, “but more than anything it was not wanting to over-dramatise, and just be realistic and honest.” The magic of recent debut album Devotion is that while Levi (or “Meeks” to Tirzah) constructs an almost avant-garde backdrop of disembodied loops and stark beats, Tirzah seems incapable of avoiding the pleasures of a simple pop melody. Even when being mangled, chopped and filtered, her strangely deadpan vocals always float in on a killer tune. “It comes naturally when I hear Meeks’s music, a particular beat or loop that she pulls up for us to work on,” she notes. “We always wanted to try and keep things simple, that was the goal.” The fringes of music can at times feel like a cold and intimidating place, but Tirzah creates music that manages to sound both strange and otherworldly, while having empathy, vulnerability and a warm familiar glow. There’s life in the love song yet.