Little Boots Goes Nocturnal

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

The conversation has been sparked --- disco is prepping to be the liberator to our dubstep demise. Okay, while its arguable, even premature whether or not the long refashioned, ridiculed and revived genre will be curing the ails of the push n' pound of the EDM generation, things got interesting when Daft Punk released "Get Lucky" last month and the song shot up to the #1 spot in 46 countries...that was within a mere weekend. A big deal. That incident perforated the notion that maybe, just maybe, listeners have their ears tuned to something a bit more on the smooth side and something that reaches back into the decades gone by. Peeling your ears open, its blatant that Little Boots seems ready to front and froth up dizzying decadence of a extinct culture, as she unveils this truth on the twilight disco lament, Nocturnes.

Aptly projecting its title, Nocturnes provides Little Boots (birth certificate name: Victoria Hesketh) to usher in a soundtrack that is meant for the darken corners of lounges and the cruises along a glittering skyline in the afterglow of club euphoria. Hypnotic, sensual, brooding, with provokes of breathy come-hither tones that Andrea True herself would moan 'more more more', Nocturnes puts Hesketh in a lofty position as a potential club enchantress for the Millennial set. It wasn't so evident at first as Hesketh had to elbow her way in through a gaggle of pop's most impossible princesses, which featured the likes of Annie, RobynElly Jackson (of La Roux), Beth Ditto (of Gossip), and of course, Lady Gaga. Hesketh was outside of that circle, as her debut album, 2009's Hands, skimmed the surface of what her contemporaries were crafting, as the singer herself sounded completely detached and unconvinced of the directions the sprawling electronic set took. This left Hesketh out of the discussion, when she should have been one of the first names to slip out as her singles, "New In Town" and "Stuck On Repeat" were noteworthy additions to the modern pop panorama.

On Nocturnes, a completely different tale is spun as Hesketh melds right into the insulated and introspective club thumpers, them clinging to her skin tight and hugging her till she slinks away from the strobe lights upon the album's end. Under the direction of Andy Butler (of Hercules and Love Affair), James Ford (of Simian Mobile Disco) and Tim Goldsworthy almost every shade of dance music's evolving states, from Italo-disco, to 90's house, and back to Saturday night fevers, glimmers out of Nocturnes pores, and it provides Hesketh with both, ample and intimate room to explore these faucets. Though the load she packs on is a challenge, she does correct a lot of the missteps featured on her debut on this album.

First introducing us into this nocturnal affair is the pensive elegance of "Motorway" which pierces with soft explosions as it persists on its escapism narrative. "All For You" also plays on the introspection theme of the album with its self-depreciating flair as it morosely strides along while "Strangers" hauls upon its weary back some Moroder-inspired synths that brood.

All isn't so cerebral, as freestyle influence swirls around such gyrated anthems like "Shake" and "Confusion" while the bubbling surge of "Crescendo" plays in the hands of pop chant-anthems that are Natasha Bendingfield-esque in spirit. Kylie Minogue's influence is all over the synthesized showers of "Satellites", as current single "Broken Record" brings reference to Hesketh's first single, "Stuck On Repeat" and the result it much more refined cosmic climb.

"Every Night I Say A Prayer" anchors the middle row and it's an exceptional house revival track that blows in with crisp originality and spunk, giving a whole new generation a reason to strike several poses. Noted stand-out "Beat Beat" offers Nocturnes its funkiest (albeit best) moment as it roll, bounce, rock and skates on thick bass lines and Kashif-esque squiggle synths.

Doing the impossible, Hesketh exceeds well over her debut on album number two as she comes with a bolder and better collection of songs that have a sense of aural familiarity, yet exude such class, assurance and finesse that Nocturnes as a whole feels more like a love letter to these bygone discotheque eras than a pretentious, over-indulging rip-off. When Hesketh announces in "Beat Beat" that she can "hear your rhythm, I can't ignore the sound", a nod you have to give to the sentiment as the rhythms that shimmer and sweat out of Nocturnes certainly cannot be put in a corner; they are there to dance to at your own unique leisure.

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