Sophie Ellis-Bextor – Wanderlust
Fresh off the Strictly Come Dancing boat of 2013, Ellis-Bextor’s new album Wanderlust is her latest pride and joy. Based heavily around eastern folklore – supposedly influenced by her hectic fan-base in Eastern Europe and Russia, the self-proclaimed SOPHIEsticaters – Wanderlust is a mysterious, fairy tale-like endeavour. Co-written and produced by Ed Harcourt, a Mercury Prize nominee, her album is a bold – minutely monotonous at times – extravagance worth experiencing.
Birth of an Empire is a sonorous, gypsy-like love song, with wacky strings, rolling drums, and a thundering piano to boot. It is as if, let’s say, Tim Burton decided to backpack through Europe, and then write a musical about his travels. Despite this boding well for the rest of the album, her next few tracks leave a certain wanting, however mellifluous they may sound. Such a direct ka-pow of a first track, followed by slightly more downcast songs, sadly somewhat drains the impact away from the flow of the album.
Luckily, these songs subside and her bubbly, lush, upbeat comeback slaps you in the face with the guitar-bass-drums combo of The Deer & the Wolf. Reminiscent of the first touches of indie-hipster music that we used to post on our MySpaces, as well as her more renowned songs from her recent albums, the record dips briefly back into the woebegone for another track and an interlude. However, it swells again, euphoniously, with 13 Little Dolls, a thrumming bustle of high guitars and low bass and drums, with tinkling synths to round the track out. A creepy title – and song – no doubt, but surely, it’s a tune that stands out from the rest.
Wanderlust is, debatably, an entire tangent from her other work, but surely an album worth owning.
Wanderlust is released on 20th January 2014. For further information or to order the album visit Sophie Ellis-Bextor’s website here.
Watch the video for Young Blood here: