Kat Bryan - Luna
This review was commissioned. However, it bears no weight on the score or decision. All reviews are written from an unbiased standpoint.
When you look into the darker side of electronic music there’s hardly a chance you’ll find anyone citing Doris Day as an influence on their career. Alas, writer, producer, singer, and all-around musical enthusiast Kat Bryan is perhaps the only artist I’ve ever covered on the site that includes the influential figure amongst her idols. Quite odd, I suppose, but it is wholly indicative of her skills as a singer first and foremost. After releasing a full-length album in October 2022, Bryan decided to tone it back with her follow-up EP “Luna”. This personal and thematically brighter album serves as a bit of a closing to this period as Bryan moves forward in her career – for better or for worse.
‘Brave’ starts off the album and it’s a very on / off song for me. While I think that Bryan’s voice is quite lovely on the track, I am not convinced that this was the right melody for her voice. The quick pulsation brought about with the simple bassline and piano keys call for something a bit more rapid, not the serene presentation Bryan gives with her voice. I also found that the instrumental portion of this song is quite basic. I am a huge sucker for piano keys in music but this did nothing for me. I believe that if Bryan would have stripped down this song a bit more, kept to the ambiance with vocals, it would have fared much better.
Bryan’s vocal delivery suffers a bit on ‘Tight Rope’. The best way I can explain it is as such: when she starts to sing faster, it sounds as if she is trying to do spoken word but it’s coming out in a sung fashion but she’s not wholly committing to either style. So, it kinda lingers in the middle and doesn’t come out quite right. Also, at the end of some lines you can hear her inhale and exhale her breaths. This is not something that most people, including myself, want to hear. The aspect of this song that I absolutely hated were these random interruptions where lifeless, soulless digitally altered vocals would come right after a line. I thought it was a watermark at first but, no, it is a part of the song, and completely threw me off. The instrumental part of this song is quite good; Bryan plays around with ethereal ambiance and a small beat that fits the vocal delivery.
‘Deep Dive’ continues the tonality of the album, combining ethereal ambiance with her vocals. This one largely succeeds in its endeavors. Although I did Bryan’s low-to-high delivery during the chorus to be a bit annoying. ‘Blurry’ is a fine example of where everything goes right for Kat Bryan. This is a slow ballad from start to finish, dare I say utilizing some fine examples of trip-hop mechanics to great effects. There’s nothing funky about her vocals this time around and she just nails her delivery throughout. I feel much the same for ‘Armour’.
At the end of “Luna”, Kat Bryan is still tapping into her potential. There are a LOT of flaws on the album. While Bryan has a wonderful voice, there are plenty of muck-ups and strange choices that flattens out what could have been a stellar performance. Often her instrumentals are quite lovely but, as with the case on ‘Brave’, they can also be extremely simple, bland, and rather uninspired. I repeat myself when I say that ‘Blurry’ is the best example of what happens when everything goes right on a song, and I would like to see more of this in the future. But as it stands, “Luna” is just a bit too flawed for me.Sep 03 2023
I've been writing for Brutal Resonance since November of 2012 and now serve as the editor-in-chief. I love the dark electronic underground and usually have too much to listen to at once but I love it. I am also an editor at Aggressive Deprivation, a digital/physical magazine since March of 2016. I support the scene as much as I can from my humble laptop.
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