17 year old Lauren Tate has released her first full EP, entitled My Reflection…
When reading comments on Lauren’s music you will see the word ’emotion‘ used time and time again. This is very apt for this EP as you definitely feel that there is a lot of Lauren in this EP. The Yorkshire based singer songwriter was picked up at the tender age of just 14 by Flat Wave studios but she has waited for 3 years building up a solid YouTube fan base before releasing her first EP. The EP features 5 tracks and Lauren herself describes the EP as “A little box of Lauren emotion”
She open the EP with ‘The Black’ a song that is just as inward as the title suggests. This is actually my favourite track on the EP, a solid vocal through the verses coupled with great musicality provides almost a Muse type affair. Lauren’s only downfall on this track, and unfortunately a theme that repeats on very track on the EP – is that when it comes to the big chorus vocals she is simply pushing too hard and it takes away from a well written song. Overall this song still remains the strongest on the record.
Next up comes ‘Your Unhappy’ at first I thought this was a clever play on grammar in the title meaning that she was the unhappy possession of someone in the song but the track almost immediately contains the lyrics “you are unhappy” so it seems like this could be a spelling error that somehow no one has picked up? The actual song is a lot more grown up, the use of strings makes for a more mature sound, which really suits Lauren’s voice and provides a much stronger vocal across the entire track. However the emotion that is delivered during the chorus again is at the cost of the vocal delivery and does effect the overall strength of the song.
The song ‘Trapped in My Skin’ is third on the EP and Lauren has produced a radio edit of the same song. I imagine Lauren wrote this one straight from the heart and is probably very personal to her. The song is stripped back early on and lets Lauren’s impressive vocal come through. Some of the story telling is a little inconsistent but I actually really like that, it adds to the passion that this song was undoubtedly written with. Once again we get to the chorus as it’s just too big to deliver the same impressive results as earlier on in the song. Then when the bridge comes in and Lauren repeats the lyrics “somebody help me” she breaks into a big vocal from a much more natural position in her range and absolutely blew me away. Best vocal of the entire EP.
Track number 4 is ‘Take Me Away’ I don’t want to dwell too long on this song. It has been cleverly positioned by the producers as unfortunately this features the weakest vocals and melody across the EP. The lyrics are strong and emotive as you see throughout the rest of the EP but I didn’t feel that it was strong enough in comparison to other tracks.
The final track of the EP is the title track of the EP ‘My Reflection’. I have mixed feelings about this track, it is more of an experiment by Lauren, adding in bursts of distortion and feedback to create a haunting track with less structure than the others. It signs the EP off on an odd note of unbalance and the distinct feeling of openness and almost like it is unfinished. Not the typical way to end a record but it showed positives.
Overall it seems that Lauren has put a lot of emotion and passion into the writing of this EP and that needs a huge congratulations. It is clear why Lauren has such a strong following as she is able to describe her journey through the life of a teenage girl in her own unique way while remaining accessible. If Lauren can focus on keeping her vocals within range then I believe that she could definitely be someone to watch in the future. Her voice is clearly strong enough to carry throughout an audience and the EP certainly makes me want to see her live so as a first EP goes Lauren shows great potential.