Since releasing her debut EP in 2015 at the tender age of 18, Katie Laffan has really come in to her own in terms of style and direction. Not your average singer-songwriter, Laffan has taken “bedroom culture” to a whole new level of energy and has sprawled herself across so many genres – you’ll get all the flavours of pop, punk, funk, disco and hip hop – in her latest offering, you’d think she’d be wearing herself a little thin.
That’s absolutely not the case though and, on ‘Spacer’, all of the above is nicely intertwined and tied together with her gentle vocals and not-so-gentle lyrics.
The five-track EP starts with Intro, which Laffan said has “been sampled from a song that I made for a bit of a laugh with my friend, and it’s been purposely chopped and pitched down to introduce a new sound.”
The infectious Tastemaker is the strongest track by far. It’s brilliantly upbeat with a groove that screams Chic meets Sophie Ellis-Bextor. The funky bass, tinkling percussion and her flirtatious vocals all gel perfectly, while she is never over-powered. It’s perfectly produced by John Caffrey.
Aversion sees Laffan experiment a little more with synths, backing vocals, style and genre. The video stars Irish astronaut Nora Patten, tying in nicely with the ‘Spacer’ theme.
Dreams has an even more electronic vibe, going heavier on production, which, unfortunately, doesn’t quite work. Sounding like a distorted carnival theme tune, it lacks any real structure or statement in comparison to the other tracks. Laffan said that “[she] thinks some of the EP might be a bit unnecessary, but it’s interesting,” and that seems to be most relevant in Dreams.
Over and Over wraps up the EP, as Laffan gets back to the musicality and more-rounded sound that she’s delivered before. “I just want the thunder/ I don’t want the rain”.
There’s certainly a lot going on on this record and Laffan has definitely produced four unique, individual tracks with a flavour for everyone. Her sound is incredibly rich and definitely has potential to grow and evolve. It’s exciting to see such a young girl already at such a high standard creatively and no doubt there’s a lot more to come.