This debut release from a voice that defies her young age, is essentially a whirlpool of emotion and genuine expression.
Mixing up acoustic and distorted guitar horizons that provide a backdrop of Alternative Rock for Lauren Tate's vocals to croon, slither and cry over, 'My Reflection' is going to strike a chord with the sensitive ones amongst us and those who truly appreciate raw expression.
Why bother with an angst-ridden teenager anyways? Well, the voice isn't normal and with over one million views on her YouTube channel and a strong support evident throughout her various social media outlets, Miss Tate is creating quite a buzz let me tell you. It is easy to see why once you wrap your ears around this five track extended player, incorporating the melancholy and reflective with the sheer unloading of burdens and frustration.
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The Yorkshire lass takes the listener on a journey which shares mild comparisons with Linda Perry, Courtney Love and perhaps a hint of Janis Joplin for good measure. The production takes a step back and allows the music and especially Tate's vocals to shine brightly in all their gravelly and soulful tones.
'The Black' is the first audio to crawl around the ears sounding slightly menacing before kicking out during a chorus where she screams like she's being burned at the stake. When Nirvana introduced the mainstream to "the quiet and the loud" approach to structuring a song, this is where Tate picks up the baton.
'Your Unhappy' persuades my hand to reach for the Kleenex to mop up the saltwater that threatens to appear around my eyes. I don't mean to lean on the over-dramatic, but the emotion captured on the recording and especially the cello added to this song really adds gravitas. It is beautiful within the folds of its despair. Dark foreboding clouds hang in the darkest skies shedding tears on those who freeze below transfixed by the feeling exhibited.
'Trapped In My Skin' has been released to radio in an edited form which doesn't dilute what the full version on this E.P. has to offer. Quiet – loud is the central dynamic for the music allowing Tate to run riot with lyrics and thoughts. Thinking about the music on offer, it must cleanse the mind and heart of distress and negativity each time Tate gives a lung-busting performance of this material.
'My Reflection' demands your attention and won't work the same if you have it playing in the background. It's a release that needs your tender love and care as it feels sporadically like a fragile ornament like the opening of 'Take Me Away' or the fading finale to the title track.
I'm left wondering if we're witnessing something really exciting beginning or merely catching a sense of anticipation for an evident vocal talent who will be distracted as her life takes unknown twists and turns?
I also consider that this E.P. has five tracks and so it doesn't get too long in the tooth. After all, there is only so much angst one can take in a listening session. What would a whole album sound like I ponder? Will Tate manage to bring more texture and shade to the table when approaching a full length release, if indeed she decides to tackle a whole album further down the line?
I guess answers will be forthcoming eventually; but for now if you're feeling introverted, exhausted or melancholy and sad, 'My Reflection' should make for suitable company as it shares a shadowy spectre.
Trapped In My Skin
Take Me Away