Wednesday, July 30, 2014

"Self Control"- Kate Boy

Electronic pop group Kate Boy sound like they've been manufactured in a laboratory. Not because the Stockholm based trio lacks a soul, but because 2013 efforts "In Your Eyes" and "The Way We Are" sounded too perfect to be engineered by human hands. Synthesizers would slither without going off course. Drum machine strikes were massive, but not overwhelming. Kate Akhurst's hooks could be infectiously "sweet" and you wouldn't have to worry about a toothache because there was just the right amount of bitter. Ultimately that's what made Kate Boy's earliest work sound so "otherworldly," it was "just right" to the point of being unnerving; wandering around in the valley of the uncanny.

New single "Self Control" seems trapped in the quicksand of that uncanny valley. A few shades lighter and the electronic stomps pass for a rallying Katy Perry track. Backwards whooshes opening "Self Control" recall Frank Ocean's warm epic "Pyramids" more than the desolate landscape of Scandinavia. I'm certain the brief stabs underneath Akhurst's chants of "self-controool," littered countless 80s chart toppers. Everything here seems to be pointing somewhere else. That's not the case though. Mainstream pop artists rarely have the unflappable cool Akhurst does when singing about constantly getting something wrong. "In the end you'll make it right," Akhurst insists in the scaling chorus of mechanical claps. Kate Boy may not have the natural look of pop stars, but who cares when the music is this dazzling?

The "Self Control" single is available now through Fiction Records.

No comments:

Post a Comment