Kate Simko: Lost in London EP
Get Physical

The title of Kate Simko's latest EP is a bit of a misnomer as the former Chicago resident and now London, UK expatriate sounds anything but lost in the new material. In fact, the EP finds Simko making about as powerful an impression as could be imagined for a release involving three tracks only (actually four, as one is included in both vocal and instrumental versions). Her strong debut outing on Get Physical actually derives its title from the period when, after having made the trans-Atlantic move, she had to wait almost two months for her studio to arrive by boat and so used the time to explore the city (getting lost, in other words) and absorb its sounds.

Simko's talents as a composer and sound designer are displayed to full effect in the EP's opener “Closer,” which dazzles on multiple counts: the glistening mallet percussion patterns with which it opens (and ends) and the grooving bass pulse and fabulously soulful vocal by Jem Cooke that follow. The crisp groove Simko fashions for the cut is splendid, too, especially when its thrust is nicely complemented by piano sprinkles and subtle electronic touches.

Opting for a heavier attack, the title track receives a good portion of its heft from a thudding bass line and the jacking swing of its lithe groove, and though projection might be a factor, it's easy to hear the track as a soundtrack of a kind for a big-city exploration. Vocals factor into the third cut, “Out Of Order,” though more as a simple one-word accent (“Feel”), but it's the slinky, bass-pumping shuffle Simko creates for the track that's as notable. But while “Lost in London” and “Out Of Order” are definitely high-quality cuts, “Closer” is clearly the EP's standout. It's a sultry and sensual body-mover of the first rank and one of the clubbiest cuts Simko's done.

June 2013