Few debuts have landed with such electricity as ‘Katy On A Mission’; “We erupt into the room” an incredibly fitting line to launch a fascinating career. Katy B’s versatile vocals have felt at home over the years on both club bangers and sentimental ballads, and ‘Peace and Offerings’ comes positioned as something of a reintroduction. Her voice is still as distinct as it ever was, only now, the mood is a slow-burning one. Katy is no stranger to bearing her soul in song, but it’s usually been in the context of a smoking area heart-to-heart, thumping bass just on the other side of the door. ‘Peace and Offerings’, meanwhile, is the morning after debrief. This steadier approach leads to some of her most beautiful songs to date. The way she sings of a faded romance on ‘Floating’ is delivered with such a stark clarity full of heartbreak but also understanding. ‘Open Wounds’, with its jazz-tipped, laidback rhythm, is as smooth as silk. Even closer ‘Daydreaming On A Tuesday’, with a rolling breakbeat that leans closer to the Katy B of old, basks in the nostalgic airiness its title suggests. “Wanting you has to be the sweetest form of suffering” she lets loose on ‘Lay Low’, a rare loss of restraint on the EP as emotions gets the better of her. “Big” has often been the defining word of Katy B’s approach to music. Big beats, big vocal runs, big features, big emotions (‘Turn The Music Louder (Rumble)’ a huge combination of them all). But ‘Peace and Offerings’ eschews that for something much smaller. It’s a more intimate side of Katy B. A nuanced, striking and incredibly welcome return from one of Britain’s finest vocalists.
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