UK dance-pop princess Katy B‘s excellent 2011 debut On A Mission served a endlessly fetching supply of silky R&B vocals being the soothing eye of the storm in the midst of huge, beat-heavy nightlife sonics, provoking many to cite Aaliyah as a major influence on her sound.
For the opening number on her new, guest-littered fre-EP Danger, Katy makes that artistic connection even more explicit through the song’s title (“Aaliyah”) and EDM-esque stylistic homage to the late, great Baby Girl, but takes things a meta-step further with a sly narrative that has her freely admitting to Aaliyah’s universal allure while wishing that it wasn’t keeping her from catching the attention of a guy she wants to notice her.
Helped out in vocals by Jessie Ware while DJ/ producer Geeneus sets a mesmerizing ’90’s-indebted foundation of club thump and cycling house synths (subsequently forming a dance-soul supergroup we wouldn’t mind hearing more from), “Aaliyah” is basically “Jolene” updated for the strobe light-enjoying sect, the two smoky-voiced chanteuses projecting a seductive mix of desperation and jealousy as they plead for the titular force to allow their respective crushes freedom from her hypnotic grasp (“Aaliyah please don’t take my man/ Although you know that you can/…Why must you taunt me girl?”).
Hear the track below, as well as the Wiley-featured/ Zinc-produced “Got Paid”, a dizzying marriage of Sasha Fierce diva, T.G.I.F. release and a cyclone of catchy electro squelch; Danger can be snatched up for an e-mail address here.