If 2016 was the year that out and out pop music lost its way a little due to too much reliance on repetition of the same formula over and over again to make hits for an increasingly lazy listening public, then French artist and performer Petite Meller stood out a little with Lil Empire, her record of bubbly jazzy hands in the air pop music. Complete with a strong visual component in her stylish videos shot on location in different parts of the world, Meller was clearly dancing to her own beat and I was more than happy to dance with her.
Sadly, there was no physical release for Lil Empire, although that is to be addressed in January 2017 with the album out physically on Island, but even so her late summer bop of a release was a joy – rammed with hooky, irresistible songs. There was a concern prior to release that the record was simply going to be full of Baby Love clones, but over its full length the tunes worked to create a full and varied listening experience, but one set very much in Meller’s universe - a universe that stirred up some arguments on line about her videos and cultural appropriation, although others argued that Meller was merely celebrating cultures she was inspired by. Like all art, it's probably up to you as the viewer and listener to make your own judgements on these matters. Either way, this was a pop record that made me feel alive.
Petite Meller - The Flute (Video)
Petite Meller - Lil Love