In The Spotlight: Alicia Catling

Coming all the way from Cambridge is Alicia Catling who is one phenomenal singer songwriter. She has 2 EP’s under her belt and these being Building Me and Sprinkled Pepper which came out last week.

Since writing her debut EP Building Me, Catling has continued to play live, maturing her sound as she goes. Her second EP, ‘Sprinkled Pepper’, builds on the folk-pop of her first offering, taking her music in a darker, grungier direction while retaining her unique ability to write songs that demand attention. Alicia cites her influences as Lykke Li, Cat’s Eyes, Mac Demarco and The Velvet Underground but doesn’t claim to sound like them and is more inspired by creative method than sound. The EP was co-produced by Catling and Matthew Cotterill and is set for release in June. Catling is focused on her growth as an artist, describing this EP simply as ‘more me’.

Sprinkled Pepper being streamed on Spotify and this is one Mighty Fine record (no pun intended). Only 4 tunes featured on this incredible release and it showcased Alicia’s ever so stunning songwriting skills. I love it when singers write their own music because it shows they have what it takes to go far in this music industry.

Only consisting of 4 tunes, Sprinkled Pepper is short but sweet which leaves you wanting to hear more material from Alicia Catling. Things like this are always good because it shows that your very own music has captivated the listener who would like to hear more originals. Now my first listen to this 4 track were pretty much positive. Just hearing this left me in a trance. I would place Catling in the folk genre which is a good thing because this is a genre I adore. My first thoughts on this ep were pretty much positive. It opened up with the whimsical Plants which is the single that was released from this record. I found this to be rather mellowing and dream like. Now from my point of view I would of released Mighty Fine as the lead single. The lyrics were pure class and it was full of hooks that reel the listener in. This tune showed an indie pop side and I could see traces of The xx. Compared to the opening 2 numbers Clown Face gave off a completely different vibe. I found this mid tempo tune to be really upbeat aided by perfectly written lyrics. The EP closed with Rinse Your Mouth which was one hell of a song. Now this for me was hypnotising and it left me wanting to hear more material by Alicia.


Mighty Fine
Clown Face
Rinse Your Mouth

On a whole Alicia Catling is one talented individual and by judging from the Sprinkled Pepper I can see Catling go a long way. Yes it is ashame that someone this amazing is unsigned but if she sticks to gigging she will easily gain more fans. It will be a massive help to her when she tours this summer which also features 4 dates in London which gets me greatly excited.

My tip for Alicia is branch out. The summer tour consists of dates in Cambridge and London with there also being sole dates in Norwich and a festival appearance in Essex. Just from hearing the material Alicia has I can tell that she really wants this. If you keep at it then you will eventually make it.

I will give you an example of an artist that I know and love. This being Lauren Aquilina. The first ever gig she played was at The Regal Room which was tiny now look at her now she has released 3 EP’s, had 3 sold out headline tours and most recently she was signed Universal.


13th The Workshop, London
16th Brickmakers, Norwich
20th Cornerhouse, Cambridge
27th The Troubadour, London
29th Leigh Folk Festival, Leigh On Sea, Essex

02nd La Raza, Cambridge
08th The Macbeth, London
12th Black Cat Café, Cambridge
24th The Junction, Cambridge
25th Dublin Castle, London

30th Lodestar Festival, Lode


One Comment Add yours

  1. John Smith says:

    An interesting review which I think provides a good snapshot of the artist. You are seeing Alicia touring for the first time – following tight on the heels of exam commitments. Previous gigs have helped her develop her own style and Alicia has taken her ideas from stage to studio which, in our opinion, is a natural way for artists to evolve. BHM have maintained a firm commitment to encourage Alicia to explore her own musical landscape which can often travel beyond comfort zones. This is a good thing. I’m not convinced that a ‘major’ label would have had the vision or patience. The corporate side of the industry has a tendency to expect instant results and fast sales – they have adopted a greater expertise in banking and finance than artist development. In our experience – great artists benefit from an approach which takes the longer view and is not risk averse. Many artists have managed to maintain their independence and hang onto their creative control without having to be “cashed in”. Could Alicia attract an ‘Adele deal’? – who knows! .. right now she’s just enjoying the journey and long may that last.

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