Although now London-based Margo Raats grew up on a ranch in Belgium (who knew there were such things?) and later in California. She was also a finalist in Belgium’s pre-Eurovision qualifying competition, Junior Eurosong, in 2009 but has fortunately come a long way since then and her debut four-track EP is closer to the West Coast than the Flemish one, taking as it does from alt.country, indie-folk and a soupcon of the late Sixties.
The opening ‘Fly’ is an uplifting piece about reaching for your dreams but somehow it doesn’t quite convince, instead sounding like a huge struggle that Raat’s isn’t really engaged with. By contrast on the stately and soulful ‘What Is It Like’ is more soulful you can genuinely feel Raat’s emotions as she sings. It’s followed by the pick of the quartet, ‘Wondering Why’, which boasts a bright mid-paced earworm of a melody underpinning a questioning song that’s crying out for radio play. Things come to a close with ‘Remember Me’, a wail from a bereft and abandoned lover where Raat’s vocals take centre stage over a sparse and subtle backing. A distinctly promising debut.