Since her masterful 2011 debut, On a Mission, Katy B has been a busy girl. Instead of disappearing into the ether, she’s quietly been releasing irresistible new songs.
Anywhere in the World (with Mark Ronson) embraced the Olympics spirit, whilst the Danger EP showed us her penchant for even more dance music. Working with producers Jacques Greene, Geeneus, Diplo and Zinc alongside Jessie Ware, Wiley and Iggy Azelea, Katy B showed she wasn’t afraid of big name collaborations. Indeed, Aaliyah (with Jessie Ware) was the best dance track of 2012.
In July 2013, her single What Love is Made of brought a change in direction towards dance-pop and house. Catchy and infectious, the 5AM EP is an extension of this. The title track’s throbbing bass guides the track to a melancholic chorus. “I need somebody to calm me down/ a little lovin like Valium/ I need somebody to knock me out,” she sings over spaced out synths. Love on the dancefloor is hard to come by, but that doesn’t stop Katy from singing about it.
With most EP releases, it’s best to stop listening there. Not with Katy’s. I Like You is a George Fitzgerald produced house track, staying true to form by blending garage hi-hats and synths. “I like you a little bit, more than I should,” she whispers with resignation. The acappella version of 5AM showcases Katy’s smooth, seductive voice. Free from any vocal gymnastics, she manages to be equally emotive and evocative. The Route 94 Remix of 5AM brings a UK Garage flavour to the original track, whilst Leftwing and Kody’s remix make Katy’s vocals distant and haunting.
Deliciously danceable, 5AM is an excellent EP that showcases Katy B as the best vocalist in dance music. With her sophomore album Little Red released in February 2014, many will be hoping it matches the stellar heights of her current music.
Katy B’s 5AM EP is out now
By Preyesh Champaneri