London’s Layla certainly makes pop music, but it’s not the sort that the term “pop” typically conjures. It doesn’t put her at the Top 40 end of the spectrum (or, at least, Top 40 in the sense of the often incessant sounds that comprise pop radio). Rather new EP Black Mud lies more in line with the theatrical pop of an artist like Florence and the Machine–slightly folksier and softer around the edges while still aiming for the hearts of a wider audience. It’s music that intelligently balances sweeping cinematic elements and and smart reduction; songs like rousing lead single “Smokestacks,” closing ballad “Holes,” and the excellent title track use tasteful production touches to accent Layla’s pretty voice.
Stream Black Mud below.