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Striking out on your own after being part of a successful group is a musical journey often fraught with peril. For Katy Steele, whose distinctive voice gave indie darlings ‘Little Birdy’ its signature sound, embarking on a solo career has not been without its troubles. But through the heartache, something precious has emerged.

With Katy’s debut release, ‘Human’, a bold declaration of intent has been made. For this is an album that is unashamedly big-hearted when it comes to the emotions on display. In such a cynical age, how refreshing it is to hear songs that have you clapping along and singing out loud in glorious communion.

‘Human’ is the sort of pop record that – for whatever reason – has sadly gone out of fashion. The ‘Wall of Sound’ approach to production seemed to have gone the way of its greatest exponent, Phil Spector: discredited and long forgotten. But with ‘Human’, the rich sonic textures of the studio have been brought back to the fore. One particular joy is hearing the vocal arrangements, particularly on the choruses, which swirl and soar to the heavens (the standout moments being on tracks like ‘Diamonds’, ‘Where’s the Laughter’ and ‘Sirens’).

If this is what it sounds like to be human, then sign me up.


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