Calm Down – Katy B x Four Tet x Floating Points
What made ‘Katy on a Mission’, the funky miniature of clubbing in all its fleeting glory, such an infectious crossover, was based around its namesakes’ dynamic voice. Katy B’s expressive tonality rubbed off onto the wobbly ambiguity of the bass, elevating her debut single to a nervy burst of energy. Playing off disparate splinters of bass music culture while vocally caught somewhere between elation and longing, Katy used her eponymous record to posit herself as a genre-spanning pop singer who was not tied down to a singular sound. She was on a mission to melt the wonderful, heartbreaking, sad, funny nature of London nightlife into a danceable whole, and ended up with a nuanced statement on the tricky dynamics of being young in a post-millennial world.
By utilising the whims of London’s club scene into great pop music, Katy B has crafted a sustainable career on her own terms. Her versatility as an artist is what makes her a continued focal point in the discussion of British pop, and her newest single ‘Calm Down’ is one of her most immediately satisfying songs yet. Here, her voice lilts over the elastic swing of the music, defiantly wondering: “When are we ever going to calm down?” The dripping beat, courtesy of Four Tet and Floating Points having a double-dutch duel with a string section, is a marvel of emotional restraint, Katy translating its resilient behaviour into a layered performance about the loss of control. She has always been fascinated with the liminal moments, and on ‘Calm Down’ Katy empties herself in front of the booming system, all too aware that the bliss of the moment will end too soon, as the colours seep into the sky at dawn.
‘Calm Down’ is the first piece of music taken from Katy B’s upcoming project Honey, which will see Katy teaming up with a number of producers and artists. Katy has also announced a London show at Brixton Academy for May 14, 2016.