YORK singer-songwriter Kymberley Kennedy releases the self-produced Pacify EP through Blackout Recordings on Monday as her first official material this year.

Available from all digital outlets with physical copies on sale on her website and at live shows, it will be followed by Kymberley's debut album, Head Games, on June 25 next year.

"Hailing from York and Leeds, Kymberley Kennedy and her band have gone from strength to strength over the last couple of years and have won numerous awards for their music, including being a triple Grassroots award winner," says Ellen Cole, who runs York's Little Festival of Live Music, where Kymberley has regularly made an impact. "Their music has been praised by the likes of BBC Radio 1Xtra and her latest EP is sure to be a huge hit," she adds.

The melodic title track is a showcase of ethereal vocals, swirling synths and almost-spectral guitars, drawing comparisons to Massive Attack and Portishead. Finessed by Kennedy's vocals and production, Pacify tiptoes to the forefront with subtle bells and murmurs before progressing into an anthemic surge of throbbing bass lines and chants, precipitated by the need for clarification in a relationship.

Second track Don't Pacify Me is complete re-imagining of the title number, written by Kymberley in between live shows with her band, beautifully elevating Miles Williams's celestial guitar and Steve Wilkinson's neo-jazz keys, reminiscent of Jorja Smith.

York Press:

Kymberley Kennedy with band members Miles Williams and Steve Wilkinson

Further tracks will be an explosive and sonically adept revamp of Pacify by American producer Neorev and a minimalist remix of I Decide, not dissimilar to Aluna George's early works, by Norwegian producer Majesto.

Pacify's release follows the launch of a live video for the EP's buzz track, a cover of Chris Isaak's Wicked Game, where Kennedy demonstrates her vocal range to the accompaniment of Wilkinson's glacial piano and Williams's haunting guitars, building to a brooding crescendo of heartache.

Psychology student Kymberley emerged in 2013 with her debut EP, Blackout, whose lead song depicted a sexual assault by an ex-boyfriend and became a symbol of empowerment. It duly propelled her into the limelight amid acclaim from Trevor Nelson on BBC Radio 1Xtra, the Huffington Post and Fame magazine, along with a Track of the Year win at the 2015 International Breakspoll Awards 2015 and the aforementioned triple success at the Grassroots Awards. Trevor Nelson has said, "That’s talent, right there!", while her live shows have been called "the north's answer to London Grammar".

Summing up her songwriting, Kymberley says: "When you write without agenda a lot of things surface. You begin to discover unresolved demons. It can either be exhilarating or it can be emotionally painful, but if you choose to draw on those emotions, you can also end up freeing yourself from them. Then, when you share those experiences with people through music, they follow you on the journey and meet you on the other side. That journey stays with people. It resonates." The very definition of soul music, you might say.