The singer/songwriter, well known for earning her stripes on the local open mic scene, has seemed a little fragile trying to hit the heights above the noise of a crowded pub. But this four track EP puts that right.
Recorded with producer Darren Jones, SheBeat has stayed true to her acoustic roots, while expanding on that pallet with piano and keyboards. Think a lo-fi Cilla Black and you won’t go far wrong – all alt-60s drama and sweeping string sounds.
Stand out ‘Freaky Crazy’ is the best song here, with chiming keys, biting lyrics (“ain’t no Springsteen, ain’t no James Dean”) and kitchen sink vocals. Sounding like an outtake from Mick Jagger’s ‘Performance’ soundtrack, Freaky Crazy could well turn into indie Liverpool’s very own ‘You’re So Vain’!
The production may be sparse, but it suits SheBeat’s bruised delivery and wry couplets. Opener ‘Mine’ updates the feel somewhat, sprinkling a bit of country soul into the proceedings, alongside those 60s girl group strings; while ‘She Never Sleeps Alone’ (ouch!) offers a left turn with double tracked vocals underpinning the strummed acoustics and charming keyboards.
The lo-fi sound may wear a little thin, but with just four tracks, this initial release never outstays its welcome and places the SheBeat sound under your skin.
Now, when is Phil Spector due for parole? That debut album needs a kitchen sink from the 60s throwing at it…