Release Date: Jun 2, 2014
Record label: Epic
Genre(s): Pop/Rock, Alternative/Indie Rock, Indie Rock, Indie Electronic, Alternative Singer/Songwriter
Stylistic reinvention is a chic thing at the moment: just look at Miley. As polarising an act as she may be, you can’t deny that her transition into cannot-unsee Parental Advisory waters is far more interesting a prospect than her post-Disney anonymity. Whilst there’s no obvious evidence to suggest that Watford-born singer/songwriter Kyla La Grange took one curious look at the ‘We Can’t Stop’ furore and thought 'I’ll have some of that' (though she did recently record a spine-tingling cover of ‘Wrecking Ball’ just for shits), the transformation that she’s undergone since the lukewarm reception that greeted her watered-down folksy debut Ashes in 2012 is still quite striking.
If at first you don’t succeed, reinvent. Kyla La Grange‘s debut album Ashes wasn’t a bad record (especially for a first attempt) but just felt a bit ordinary. The songs were good, but there was nothing there to distinguish her from the already overcrowded market of ‘folky, quirky female singer-songwriters’. Two years on, and she’s unrecognisable, both in image terms and with respect to her music.
Kyla La Grange's sophomore album, 2014's Cut Your Teeth, finds the British chanteuse expanding beyond her psych-folk roots into a more electronic-infused sound. Following her 2012 debut, Ashes, La Grange began working on new material with producer/DJ James Jacob, aka Jakwob. Primarily known for his own electronic dance music and for remixing cuts by artists including Ellie Goulding, Jakwob helped La Grange successfully expand her sound.
The ice-cold synth notes don’t exactly invite you in right away, but fortunately they do work as a backdrop to Kyla La Grange’s forlorn voice on opener and title track ‘Cut Your Teeth’. “You never knew my name”, she sings blankly as the music stops. Well, perhaps with second album ‘Cut Your Teeth’, she’s hoping people will learn it.
“Cut Your Teeth” bounded onto the web like an eager devil-puppy with an impish glint in its eye and savage fangs gleaming. Adorned in newfangled bells and spangly whistles, it’s a lurch to the leftfield for La Grange, whose first foray – into folk-rock – fell by the wayside somewhat. Stuffed with neon bass and dayglo hooks, we see a kind of sprawling synthpop.