Layne - Warrior EP
If you're of a mind that a few of 2014's much-hyped alt.pop acts have failed to live up to initial promise, let Los Angeles' (via the Black Hills of South Dakota) Layne Putnam relight your fire. For this six song EP, built in collaboration with producer Devon Corey, arrives suited, booted and ready to turn all the heads as it pulls up in a stretch limo for the prom party. Sitting somewhere between Paramore and Tegan & Sara's modernist electro pop, Warrior showcases a ready-baked act that will surely have major label scouts scrambling for their iPhones.
A hint of Taylor Swift's teenage angst pays off well throughout, from "the kids who are getting sober before they go to church" ('Not So Easy') to 'Seventeen''s nostalgia for summer's past, offset against buzzing synths, catchy hooks and restless beats. Putnam expressed a wish for a "huge wall of sound - even if there are only two or three players on stage" and Corey's production smarts deliver something stage-ready from a bedroom studio. The title track broods for a full minute before exploding in a tickertape of drive and self-esteem ("You'll be on the stage with 30,000 in the crowd") and the hardest thing is trying not to fall too hard. The sound of 2015 is already here - and she's come out fighting.