Katie Tupper’s debut EP Towards The End is a breezy collection of five songs that intimately explore themes of heartache, charisma and charm in the same space.
Taking the listener through a journey of every side of love, Tupper effortlessly stitches together the vulnerable and carefree side by side.
Running through the entire release is a strong sense of intimacy. Tupper opens Live Inside by asking “Can I lay in your clothes tonight? Cos I’m tired of mine, think they’re tired of me”. She further reflects on this sense of intimacy in the past tense, stating “I don’t think you know just how good it felt/To take golden hairs off your golden head”. Despite the sincerity of this lyricism, the pervading tone is breezy and laid-back, allowing for these topics to be broached in a natural way; free from constraints and taboo. Furthermore, through this bubbly, glittery sunshine there is always a sense of gratitude and moving forward by reflecting on the past.
That said, never do we feel that Tupper unhealthily wallows in the past. Even Danny, which extensively discusses an ex-lover, offers cathartic realism and reflection post-breakup (“And I guess by now I can admit/Your family never liked me and I never liked them”), despite the vulnerability often associated with this topic (“And it scares me to say that out loud/but what’s the worst some words can do to me now?”). Moreover, while there is acknowledgement of the hurt that comes with such a difficult life event, this approach of upfront openness is refreshing, as it allows the listener to reconcile with their own past and recognise that these events are often just a part of life – not something to be ashamed of.
While Tupper excels in a carefree sound world, she demonstrates on How Can I Get Your Love? that she is just as capable in a more mellow, vulnerable realm. In this nostalgic return home to a former lover, she puts her heart on her sleeve admitting “I know you got another lover but/being honest that don’t matter”. Over a gorgeous bed of hazy strings, Tupper reminisces about old habits, which have been carried through to pastures new (“I still see you leave the light on, and I’m glad that you do/Even thought, I know now you do it for her”).
After venturing into serenity, however, Tupper returns to her carefree signature sound on Cost Of Loving You, which evolves into a more flirtatious jazz club vibe on Misbehavin’. While there is continual acknowledgement of regrets and mistreatment with appropriate vulnerability (“Tell me it’s worth what I put in”), there’s always a sense of accepting the past and wanting to move forward and grow (“My words became yours/I guess that was just the cost of loving you”). As each track fades out in a cinematic, retro haze, there’s always an optimistic tone indicating that things will be alright.