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Tatyana - It's Over

Review

It's Over by Tatyana

Transcendent Pop tunes

When you're as old and cynical as me it's easy to gloss over Pop album concepts that deal with love, relationships, break-ups etc. but on It's Over, the second album from London-based musician Tatyana (Phillips), we're presented with ten lightweight ditties soundly centred on that very subject. And here I am reviewing it for the simple reason that I'm smitten with the transcendent tunes. Like last year's electronic Pop spectacle Blacking Out by Irish band Everything Shook or Grimes' Miss Anthropocene from 2020, It's Over is easily their melody-peer but lyrically, due to the teen-focused themes, nothing quite reaches their standards.

With her (Berklee) degree in music production and sound design, coupled with a steady path of professional development (includes session musician work like playing harp on Fatima Al Qadiri's La Abuela OST and a live tour with Neneh Cherry) and a penchant for wearing crop tops and short skirts (she's had difficulty being taken seriously as an artist as a result) Tatyana arrives perfectly formed for the Pop world.

Clubbed together with the likes of Jessy Lanza and Robyn, Tatyana trades in 'big production' eighties Pop values – a good example is the opening minute of We're Back, with its chiming chords (it could have been written 40 years ago!). Likewise with that sexy fat bassline on the title track - it sounds old but it's still hella fresh. Not sure if working with Metronomy's Joseph Mount on her debut album, 2022's Treat Me Right, was a good or bad influence but autotune, prevalent on much of her earlier work (I mean, how derivative does Lock U Down sound?) has been tamed to the point that her voice sounds quite normal (i.e. not too heavily processed) even when it's a looped snippet like 'I Do Care'.

Elsewhere there's a sense of fun and experimentation in the structure of some songs, like the way the aforementioned loop on I Do Care (& That's OK) flips halfway through into this rude Acid-adjacent workout. And on Nothing Is True, Everything Is Possible, the first two minutes of spare instrumentation and sultry vocals unexpectedly blossoms funkily. On Out of Time we begin with a soulful vocal, like SAULT's Cleo Sol, which switches to Elliott Smith on acoustic guitar before finally ending on a rousing synth arpeggio. There's even a duet of sorts on Control, with Dave Okumu, which is perhaps the most 'adult' track here with its complex layers and wanton eye on the dancefloor. Recent single Down Bad is my highlight though, with great double-tracked harmonies and a memorable ascending melody.

The self-confessed 'studio rat' declared "this record made me technically proficient because I really pushed myself", which is an entirely credible statement given these tracks are well-written and well-produced. She just needs to work on the subject matter.

If you only listen to one track

Down Bad

RIYL

Robyn, Tirzah, Jessy Lanza

Label

Sinderlyn

Artist website

Tatyana

Release date

22 Mar 2024

Tracklist

  1. Bird Of Prey
  2. Hold My Hand
  3. It's Over
  4. Nothing Is True, Everything Is Possible
  5. Down Bad
  6. Control (ft. Dave Okumu)
  7. I Do Care (& That's OK)
  8. Leave Me With The Roses
  9. Out of Time
  10. We're Back
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