The title track of Katy B’s debut On a Mission told the story of a young woman in a nightclub dealing with an aggressively forward man before abandoning herself to the music.
Themes of control and loss of control resurface on the hit album’s follow-up.
“5am” finds her heading home after a night out, anxious after losing her friends, while beneath its sleek beats “Aaliyah” tells an eerie tale of sexual jealousy on the dance floor, featuring Jessie Ware as either Katy B’s doppelgänger or rival.
Elsewhere Katy takes the role of a woman at “the mercy” of her lover, who is “so in control”, a scenario summed up in another song by the chorus, “I like you a little bit more than I should”, sung over a jackhammer house beat.
But the Londoner’s voice is composed, in control; she’s less effective when she dials up the vocal drama on the ballad “Still”.
Mainly produced by London DJ Geeneus, who also produced On a Mission, the music is a muscular distillation of UK bass music and pop, a powerful framework for Katy’s nuanced portrait of life as a young woman in the frontline of London’s nightlife.