Words: Jasmine Uitermark-Thaung
Bold electric duo Kate Boy released their debut album One today! Jam packed with dark pop anthems that swell amongst Sydney vocalist, Kate Akhurst’s voice, the themes One wields are both empowering and melancholic.
Lead track Midnight Sun has been a steady favourite of mine since the album met my CD player, its tremoring bass amongst the soaring synths lay claim to a torrid affair…a simplistic yet catchy track. The rhythm set seems to carry into Northern Lights accented by plucky effects of a wavering synth. Seductive in her inflection, Akhurst carries across a strong feeling of determined liberation within what could ultimately be a song that strikes true amongst many struggles.
Lion for Real carries powerful tribal beats pioneered by the other half of Kate Boy, Markus Dextegen. Layering on her vocal licks, Akhurst’s vocals almost carry a sinister quality as she sings ‘the lion rose out of a body I was holding to’ but it’s the finale of the song that really carries the punch as the tribal beats take a backseat allowing for stuttering synths to flash intermittently.
Taking on a deeper tone in Human Engine, it’s impressive to hear Kate Akhurst flourish vocally within the track amongst the tight skip of the beat. Come Burn, Kate Boy’s distinctive take on tribal beats interwoven amongst a growing influence of the electronic scene has the music industry taking notice.
The second half of One exhibits more resounding synths whilst the techno runs of the keys in Higher add extra support under Akhurst’s voice…not that she even needs it. Immediately drawing a liking to One’s songs that gradually build up the bass, sometimes it’s the barer tracks that contain the most appeal like Open Fire. The strong vocal shouts of triumph place the song right amongst a crowd of party goers letting off some steam.
Ending their album on a strong note with Run As One I have this unmistakable feeling that the song will end up in a dystopian film somewhere in the final end scene when a gaggle of teens escape destruction. Listen to the album below and tell me you don’t feel that. Challenge accepted?