Sello: Epic/Vested In Culture
Kat Dahlia is a pop iconoclast. On the Miami songwriter's best single to date, 2013's "Gangsta," she chanted in a ragamuffin delivery; the other standout track from My Garden, "Tumbao," has a reggaeton flow as she asserts, "I ain't changing my style." She insists on her rough, sandpapery voice; but when she switches to a faux-English accent for "Lava," it's surprisingly appealing. Throughout, Dahlia pairs lyrical explicitness with an aggressive presence, but she doesn't have enough great songs to make it all work. However, her odd, Caribbean-inspired voice makes a strong first impression.