It seems like we’ve been waiting ages for this album.
Gemma: Right! ‘Feel It’ came out in 2017!
Were you fans after the first record?
Charlotte: Yes, I was hooked on her after ‘Nothing Solutions’ came out. Which must have been 2014, 2015?
Gemma: To be honest, not hugely – I just couldn’t click with the record. But then I remember catching her at The Great Escape a few years ago, performing an early hours set upstairs at Komedia, and she was brilliant.
Charlotte: I’m yet to see her live – everyone raves on about her.
She’s amazing – such energy. Did hearing the singles make you think this record could be a great one?
Gemma: Definitely. I was obsessed with ‘Feel It’ when it came out and then ‘About Work The Dancefloor’ obviously blew up. It felt like she’d finally found her groove.
Charlotte: For sure. ‘About Work The Dancefloor’ was this huge, kinda alt-Robyn bop. And ‘Feel It’ is brilliant, angsty electro. ‘Started Out’ is also one of my favourites: so damn catchy!
An additional question: was ‘About Work The Dancefloor’ a worthy winner of PopJustice’s £20 prize?
Gemma: Definitely a worthy winner – impressed she beat ‘Nothing Breaks Like A Heart’ though.
Charlotte: Oh yeah, I forgot it beat The Best Pop Song of last year
I’m glad we’re all agreed on that. Do you think the album lived up to those songs?
Gemma: I think it does in the sense it shows another dimension to her songwriting. It’s pretty brave how she’s front-loaded it with the singles.
Charlotte: This record isn’t short of a banger. Even after those initial singles, you have the bombastic, dubby ‘Ray Guns’ – which is reminiscent of M.I.A – ‘The Thrill’ and ‘Honey Dripping Sky’ serving as the closing bookenders (shout out to that delicious acid house playout on ‘The Thrill’). And ‘Never Let You Go’, another single, is great.
Gemma: ’24 Hours’ is massive too.
Charlotte: It’s frontloaded with big tunes, drops a little in the middle, and ends with some proper bouncy club-friendly tunes. It’s a much more rounded, confident album overall than her self-titled record.
Confidence is the thing that jumps out at me. It feels like her live shows have shown her where she wanted to go…
Gemma: I agree.
Charlotte: Yeah, totally.
Gemma: Even the moments where she drops the pace can be startling. ‘Ultimate Sailor’ is beautiful (what is that name though?).
Charlotte: Haha, I thought the exact same thing about the song title. Also, the synths in that song remind me of Blade Runner.
Gemma: Yes! Definite Vangelis vibes.
So the worst question you can ask – if I forced you to give it a rating, what would it be?
Charlotte: If pressed, I’d give it a 7.5/10.
Gemma: 4 stars.
Charlotte: I guess if I had to say what it’s lacking, it’s some more leftfield experiments wouldn’t have gone amiss. Some of the songs blur a little into the others.
Are there any lyrics that jumped out at you? I love the ones in ‘Mellow’.
Charlotte: Yeah, they’re brill! Is she saying “funkajello” (some kind of vodka jelly shot)? The lyrics paint such a vivid picture of a not-so-vivid-in-drunken-memory of a night out.
Gemma: Absolutely – the dubby bassline and the double-tracked vocals make you feel woozy. That’s one thing I find really fascinating: it’s an album about clubbing totally sober. She’s said, “I was going through quite a heavy period with drinking and other sorts of substance abuse.”
Charlotte: Listening to it initially I’d assumed – e.g. with ‘About Work The Dancefloor’ – that it was all about wired-up hedonism (she was inspired to write it following a weekend bender in Berlin). And then I thought many of the other tracks were about drugs/drinking etc.
Gemma: Yeah it seems to be dealing with things that happened and she’s since gone totally straight-edged and that’s brought her clarity musically.
And last question: can you wait to see this live?
Charlotte: No! I bitterly regret missing her show in London recently.
Gemma: I’m very excited to see her live again. I think these songs are going to sound incredible. To me, she’s a live artist; that’s where she really thrives. And with this album, she’s given herself some really good ammo for those shows.
Anything else to add?
Gemma: Just that she’s improved so much since the last album – if she can maintain that upward trajectory, the next album could be a 5-star record.
Charlotte: Definitely. She’s a real talent. I’m very excited to hear more from her.