Thursday, 7 July 2016

New Music: Elle Watson - Phantom

Remember Elle Watson? Her name popped up for the first time on Breaking More Waves in January when I wrote an honest / cynical / mildly funny / self-depreciating (delete as applicable depending on your perspective) post on the secret world of music 'tastemakers' and what goes on behind the scenes to help them keep in touch and retain their 'tastemaker' status. At the time I mentioned that whilst Elle’s debut release Body was decent enough, and a bit of a grower, there was better to come. 

Well, here’s one of those ‘better to come’ tracks. It’s called Phantom and it’s really lovely. It follows the modern minimal template that was laid out by the likes of The XX back in 2009 and has been gradually developed ever since through bands like London Grammar to, more recently, the likes of Rosie Lowe. I mention Rosie because Phantom is released via Wolf Tone (producer Paul Epworth’s label) who also released Rosie’s debut album Control, so there’s more than just a sonic connection.

“There’s something unexplainable I can’t shake off,” sings Rosie, using the Phantom as a metaphor for a feeling that can’t be described. As you listen to the song’s chilled soulful delivery you may well be expecting it to suddenly explode into banger territory, and go all Sia / Katy Perry on us, but thankfully it doesn’t. Because Phantom is all about the art of the understated; graceful smooth beauty.

Elle Watson will be playing the BBC Introducing Stage at T in the Park festival next Sunday.

Elle Watson - Phantom

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