Debut albums are supposed to define your genesis as an artist, stamp in time and memory the image of you as the wide-eyed impressionistic firebrand you set out to be, and introduce you to a baying audience hungry for a new fix. In this respect, Katie Harkin, the erstwhile Sky Larkin member and long-in-the-tooth industry journey-woman, has very much found a sweet corner of the indie-alternative scene to rest her hat and call her own.
Her self-titled debut is fit to bursting with naïve, chest punching passion and impish, eclectic charm. It has big bold, simplistic-but-unstoppable drums and guitars that rest like contrasting Ravens guarding the charming, metronome sharp basslines – and allows those crisp, feminine vocals to swell and build and burst out like a Banshee chorus. Sweet and fragile and tempting, before the bite and the suck of the darkness.
Harkin has a little something for everyone who loves inventive, catchy, new alternative rock. Katie Harkins has crafted a collection of songs here that are a little Kings Of Leon, a little mid-career Foo Fighters, a little Karen O and a little Florence and the Machine (with a lot less excess and grandeur.) It’s an album of driving rhythm and gripping lyrical craftmanship, delivered by a voice that you are drawn in by and could easily, and happily I dare say, drown in. It’s clever, it’s fun, it’s aware of it’s own limitations – and it dances wily and free around the boundaries of the genre it has planted itself in. And it is beautiful and brilliant for all of this and more. Well worth your time.