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Earlier this year, we waxed lyrical about the nostalgic pop of Wexford wunderkind Patricia Lalor and her EP, Sleep Talk. Just four months have passed and the 14-year-old has released her follow up, Do It Again.
Still finding her feet as a songwriter, Patricia hasn’t strayed too far from the hazy, sleepy vibe of her last release but has brought in some new sounds and tropes. The EP’s title-track, for one, opens with a tinny drum machine and an awkward, ascending keyboard trill before giving way to bass synths and Patricia’s familiar honeyed, reverb-soaked vocal. The synths eventually peel away to reveal the lean guitar arpeggios and multi-tracked vocals we’ve become accustomed to, but here they overlap and harmonise in ways we haven’t heard from her before.
As Patricia’s performance grows, so do her points of influence. ‘Self Aware’ opens with a kaleidoscopic guitar and synth tandem, before leading to a ‘Reckoner’ by Radiohead-esque chord progression in its latter half. Meanwhile, closing track ‘Alone’ borrows from The xx, with its breakbeat, harmonising vocal, moody synths and minimalist, ascending two-note riff.
Most compelling are Patricia’s lyrical chops for a performer her age. Open and vulnerable, and often very relatable, she lays it all bare. (“If I could cry in front of a crowd / And feel comfortable / I wanna know, how it feels to look someone in the eyes / When I’m dancing”).
There’s a lot to be said for the if-it-ain’t-broke-don’t-fix-it approach. Everything that made Sleep Talk so enjoyable is still here but Do It Again is by no means a rehash. Patricia preserves her hazy vocals and timeless sound, but she also experiments with the form a little bit. If these are her formative years, she’s got a very bright future ahead.