Florrie: Late (EP Review)

Better late than never, right? Way better, actually.

After nine months of recording in between studios in the UK and the US, singer/songwriter/drummer/guitarist/model/pop extraordinaire Florrie has at long last revealed her latest collection of independent tunes, her final self-released set before treading into major label waters later this year.

As with 2010’s Introduction EP and last year’s outstanding Experiments EP, the Late EP finds the multi-talented songstress supplying endless, swinging ’60’s-inspired melodies, delicious disco stomps and razor-sharp hooks, as can only be expertly crafted by someone recruited to the in-house band of Britain’s almighty pop production troupe, Xenomania.

Strutting atop a deep, funky disco bass line, “Shot You Down” kicks off the collection with…well, a bang. “I shot him down, down, down,” Florrie chants during the song’s catchy opening, giving a quick nod to Cher‘s “Bang Bang” (and perhaps Madonna‘s “Gang Bang”), similar to the Ting Tings‘ “Shut Up And Watch Me Go.” And then all at once, the track explodes: “I pulled the trigger on our love/Keep messing me around/Got my finger on the gun/Bang bang, I shot you down,” Florrie repeats atop a swirling, sparkling synth melody.

Each second of the track finds Florrie throwing another hook our way: “Left, right, left, right, left, right,” she quietly purrs after the first chorus. “Thinking about it…ooooh, baby!” she coos seconds later, briefly delivering a Donna Summer moment of dreamy disco falsetto. Everything was catchy, and nothing hurt.

“I’m Gonna Get You Back,” on the other hand, might be the EP’s most left-of-center production, and evidence of Florrie’s growth as an artist. Filled with jagged licks of electric guitar, a reverb-heavy chorus and menacing electronica, the track finds Florrie going more alt-pop than ever: “I won’t stop ’til I get you back/I’m gonna get you back,” Florrie howls, bringing a touch of Sky Ferreira‘s intensity to mind–and perhaps even a little Garbage-lite.

“Every Inch,” on the other hand, plays like the best Girls Aloud tune the ladies never recorded. Between the bridge of haunted moans (pure “Crocodile Tears”), mile-a-minute monotone hooks (pure “Graffiti My Soul”) and sassy kiss-off lyrics (pure “Sexy! No, No, No”), the song could have easily been tackled in the well-manicured hands of Nadine and the girls. “You got money in your pocket and your clothes are looking hot/But I ain’t looking for somebody like you,” Florrie taunts above a ’60’s surf guitar-meets-’90’s Hi-NRG-meets-21st century synth-pop pulse.

Appropriately, the EP closes with “To The End,” a moody, tranced-out production. As the guitar strum quickens and the synthesizers surge dramatically, the track builds to frightening heights–at last bursting into its supersonic chorus that screams Stuart Price (Confessions On A Dance Floor/Aphrodite): “Baby, we will take this to the end!” Florrie declares above the pounding beats, not unlike any of Sophie Ellis-Bextor‘s chilly disco-pop anthems. “Every little piece of me, I’ll give to you for free/Happiness don’t mean a thing until you let it in,” she later chants in the song’s final few seconds, seemingly falling back down to Earth.

Every inch of the record is one carefully crafted hook after another; each pulsating beat more danceable and jaw-dropping than the next. With the Late EP, Florrie’s provided enough of a distraction (and more than a few melodies now forever lodged into our brain) to hold us off until her eventual major label debut. It’s long overdue.

The album is now streaming in full at Florrie’s official website.

Late EP was released on May 31. (iTunes)

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