The tracks on Katy B’s latest EP read like a hip, continent-spanning party guest list with producer Diplo representing the U.S., rapper Iggy Azalea championing Australia, and the U.K.’s DJ Zinc, rapper Wiley, and fellow pop darling Jessie Ware all leaving their mark somewhere along the album’s four tracks. Star-studding the EP that follows your acclaimed debut is a genius yet delicate move for an up-and-comer, and the level to which she cleanly pulls it off is nothing if not impressive.
The club-ready beat on album opener “Aaliyah”, crafted by Geenus, creeps in subtly and stays fairly consistent. Katy’s voice dances with a perfectly subdued performance from a sultry Jessie Ware, who causes the drama to flare on what recalls a modern, pop version of “Jolene” that pays homage to the late singer (“Aaliyah, please don’t take my man / Although you know that you can”). “Got Paid” and “Light As a Feather” further establish this as a record of the weekend with lines like, “Friday never lets me down, so grab your coat we’re gonna hit the town” on the former and “What’s it going to take for me to see you get down?” on the latter.
What’s becoming Katy B’s signature genre-spanning production entwines a tolerable amount of bass bumping with elements of undeniable pop, making these songs you could hear at nearly any establishment on a Saturday night, no matter the scene. She slows the record to a halt with the title track, which offers a few-minute glimpse into where a night can go after the cocktails have run dry and the clubs have closed. “I see the bright red flame burning our love away,” she sings over Jacques Greene’s slow, fluttering beats.
Fellow pop musicians should take note of this record, as it could easily be the new poster child for how an EP should be done.
Essential Tracks: “Aaliyah”