The Quietus - A new rock music and pop culture website


Change The Weather Olamiju Fajemisin , May 15th, 2018 08:14

Sultry, rich debut EP from the classically trained singer and producer

She’s from Somerset, but Reader has embraced her adopted hometown of London and brought in some of the city’s finest talents for her first EP. North London’s The Last Skeptik handles production, and the title track features a verse from east London grime MC Trim.

Opener ‘Give Me’ is a clear demonstration of Reader’s technical ability and her creativity. The medium register piano seems disconnected from the undulating synth grinding beneath it, but it’s all tied together with Reader’s voice. Her classical training shows here, in the pure control she exhibits at both ends of the spectrum and in the technically complex vocalised chords that only one with nimble musical knowledge should even consider attempting. Her sultry, soft vocals juxtapose with the darkly romantic lyrics - the whole track just doesn’t seem like it should hold together, but Reader makes it seem like child’s play.

‘Change The Weather’ continues the melancholy but lessens the intensity - it functions as the perfect bridge to ‘WSL’ and Trim’s verse is a real treat. On ‘WSL’, a guitar accompanies Reader’s rolling lament and a saxophone comes in - as the EP progresses, the instrumentation and production start to favour the mainstream. Final track ‘Hovering’ is miles away from opener ‘Give Me’ - On final track ‘Hovering’, there is an softness in Reader’s voice, and an exuberant acoustic guitar - the EP closes on a much warmer note than it started with.

Change The Weather is truly a whistlestop tour of Reader’s capabilities. If not for the subtle nuances of her West Country accent, one might even find it hard to believe that the woman lamenting in the opening track is the same young hopeful closing the EP. With all her talent, it’s easy to see how far Reader will go – she’s definitely making the right first moves.