In what might well be the fastest follow up release of this year, young Alicia Catling sprung her ‘Sprinkled Pepper EP’ on the world with little warning, just 3 months after her debut EP ‘Building Me.’ However, what’s unveiled is far from a slap dash effort. Sparse beats and trance-inducing synths amidst Catling’s trademark sigh, make for an intriguing listen, especially with the patient acoustic guitar work that pollinates much of the material.
‘Plants’ opens proceedings with a desperate moan, setting the tone instantly; glossy reverb and flanged guitar shimmer underneath Catling’s vocals, which skip delicately over the clicking drums that infiltrate the song, and your memory. ‘Mighty-Fine’ introduces more pop- focused elements, whilst retaining the sparseness of the rest of the EP, whereas ‘Clown Face’ brings in gentle saloon style piano as a counterpoint to the inner fear that the lyrics convey. Catling takes the metaphor of ‘Clowns’ and depicts it as the fear that many associate them with. ‘Rinse Your Mouth’ is perhaps the strongest showing, given fresh licks of paint with organ swirling throughout. The track oozes with character, and is by far the most pensive of the EP; it leaves you leaning forward in anticipation.
As a departure from the ‘Building Me,’ ‘Sprinkled Pepper’ feels much more like a dark anti-reality compared to the folky singer-songwriter style of Catling’s debut. The sleek production and fine writing makes the EP a very fluid listen, with seeds of real excitement only just being sown.
Search ‘Alicia Catling’ to download ‘Sprinkled Pepper’ on itunes.
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