From the early points on in her career, it was clear that Katy (Kathleen Anne Brien) knew which direction she was headed and has sealed herself as one of the big vocalists amongst the Electronic genre. Making her name through the help of Rinse FM back in early 2010, Katy has gone from strength to strength in not only her solo career, but also with her work with Magnetic Man and Mark Ronson. Her last album ‘On a Mission’ released in April 2011 peaked at #2 in the UK album charts, to much high appraisal from critics.
Little Red is a huge step up from the last album, not only in terms of production value and diversity, but down to Katy’s fine-tuning of her vocal ability. This album really does showcase her vocal range and almost comes across as effortless in the way she floats over bass driven beats. ‘Tumbling Down’ is a laid-back track, which is lead by the mellow tone of her voice, across a spatial electronic sound. The most recent single ‘Crying For No Reason’ is most definitely a stand-out track on this record. It’s a perfect blend of the acoustic sounds from a piano and the heavy, almost tribal feel of the percussion. Lyrically, Katy expresses her life is such a raw form, we as listeners are compelled to stay and hear her story.
This album cannot be discussed without reference to the heap of collaborations featured on it. Personally, I was sold upon hearing ‘Everything’, a track produced by Route 94. Katy provides vocals over the house track and manages to make her mark, without detracting from the original. The track’s intentions are to get you dancing and it most certainly does, every time… without fail. The track ‘I Like You’ is also a club tune, sure to get you moving. It’s also nice to see ‘Aaliyah’, the collaboration with Jessie Ware and highlight from Katy’s 2012 EP ‘Danger’ being included on this album. This track features seductive vocals and a simple electronic sound that’s so addictive, you’ll be listening on repeat. The mixing by Zinc on ‘5AM’ also creeps through the overall pop sound, with little dark dips amongst the typical dance track sound. The artist Sampha makes an appearance, on the track ‘Play’, which he has also produced to make an inventive sound.
It seems Katy has a lot to thank Geenus for, with the help he provided with this record. He’s definitely struck the right chord with her and their work together on the album come across fantastically. Geenus himself is something of underground royalty, being the man behind Rinse FM. In all sincerity, hats off to the guy. He’s really excelled himself being involved in this project, a brilliant showcase of electronic music.
Every track on this record should be given the time of day. Despite there definitely being stand-out tracks, I feel that each piece has it’s own direction and intention amongst the mix. Highlights for me are ‘Next Thing’, ‘Aaliyah’, ‘Everything’, ‘I Like You’ and ‘Blue Eyes’, but that’s coming from someone who (being a drummer) just loves a good beat.
This album has been the first of 2014 to really stick out from the crowd and as of the mid-week chart, it’s on course for the #1 spot in the UK. All the best of luck to Katy, she deserves recognition for such a fantastic record.