Katie MF is an anti-/alt- folk/punk musician from London. We have featured Katie MF as ‘band of the week’ here at CPRW in the past but after seeing Katie plus her band live for the first time in September, supporting Wolves & Wolves & Wolves & Wolves at the New Cross Inn, I was keen to have a further listen to the debut Katie MF EP, Learning How To Lie, which was released back in April this year.
The first of five tracks on Learning How To Lie is titled Leaving For The Last Time. Opening with some muted yet rhythmic palm-muted guitar, this song eases us in gently and allows for Katie’s vocals to take the forefront. And damn it’s a good voice! Overall Leaving For The Last Time is a fairly slow paced song but it does seem to build as it progresses, both in speed, volume and passion. I guess this is a break-up song of sorts but it feels remarkably affirmative despite this. Next up is Feelgood Films which is certainly more upbeat than the first track and I’m instantly hooked for this reason alone. The pounding drums that accompany the fast paced guitar and bass in opening up the track have my head nodding immediately and that remains so when the vocals begin. Feelgood Films is about how some people seem to have their heads up in the clouds without properly accepting what is going on in the world around them. The chorus is both thought-provoking and singalong-able – ‘So let’s kill our negativity with feel-good films and drugs, Oh optimism is the key with denial and such, Just think how very happy you could turn out to be, If you believe there’s nothing wrong with your daily fantasies.’
The Other Side brings back a slower pace with a soft yet melodic guitar intro that feels retrospective and somewhat sad. These feelings are reinforced when the vocals come in and Katie sings of how the most insignificant of things, like sunshine for example, can take you back to another time and place with someone who was once important to you. As we reach a faster paced chorus there is a switch in tone as Katie decides that actually ‘I’m on the other side now, And it’s pretty fucking great’. I love a song with a twist. The title of the next song will give readers a pretty good idea what it might be about – My Cameron, Mr Gove. Katie MF is far from the first punk or folk musician to write a song confronting politicians but, just because it’s been done before, that doesn’t mean it can’t be done again – and potentially better. Understandably this is probably the angriest of songs on this EP with Katie expressing in the lyrics that she’s well and truly ‘pissed off’. Like many (actually, I hope, all of us), Katie used her vote when it came to Brexit but unfortunately didn’t make a difference on the night. Obviously that won’t stop us being pissed off and wanting a change. A fine protest song. Bringing Learning How To Lie to a close is a quiet and sad-sounding number called Nights Unspecified. It is probably the least ‘punk’ of all the songs on the EP but what it lacks in angst and such it makes up for with pure emotion. It feels like quite a personal song but the last lines feel quite truthful for us all – ‘These are the days that make us.’
Learning How To Lie is a great little debut EP and a thoroughly encourage you to give it a listen – I’d also recommend seeing Katie MF live if you get the chance. You can stream and download Learning How To Lie on Bandcamp and like Katie MF on Facebook.
This review was written by Emma Prew.