June 9, 2014
“Tropical Chancer”: La Roux Channels Grace Jones On Brilliant ‘Trouble In Paradise’ Cut
La Roux — once a “they,” now a “she” — is back.
You might or might not have known that already, given that Elly Jackson has already quietly floated out a handful of tracks from her upcoming LP (Trouble In Paradise), including the slow-burning ‘buzz track’ “Let Me Down Gently,” followed by the incredibly instant proper lead single, “Uptight Downtown.”
Having formally parted ways with her creative companion and producer Ben Langmaid, Elly’s returned on her own with a considerably more relaxed, slinkier sound. Gone are the hammering electronic beats and razor-sharp hooks of “Bulletproof” and “In For The Kill.” Instead, the new material is filled with summery, shimmering disco stomps, funky guitar licks and breezy melodies.
It’s not a completely radical sonic transformation — she’s just slipping into something more comfortable.
“I’ve been listening to a lot of classic disco, a lot of ‘State of Independence”era Donna Summer and Grace Jones and Tom Tom Club,” she says. “I’d like a more sexual feel to the record, but not in a sex-in-the-club kinda way — the way sexy was before it got made dirty. Sexy can be classy, sexy can be cool, sexy can be actually sexy.”
Sexy? Yes, yes, yes — and anyone that references Grace and Donna is CLEARLY on the right track.
Tonight, Pitchfork premiered the latest track from the upcoming album called “Tropical Chancer,” which, much to my great delight, plays like a loving nod to Compass Point Studios-era Grace Jones (see: “My Jamaican Guy”), full of funky rhythms and island sounds.
“And I could see it in his eyes/He was the type to sail off in the night,” she melodically sings of her runaway man. Another immediate distinction from the first album? Elly’s voice. It’s infinitely more sultry and smooth this time around, as opposed to the shrill, occasionally shriek-y delivery of her debut.
‘Trouble In Paradise’ will be released on July 7. (iTunes)