In a market flooded with autotuned club anthems, rent-a-rappers and achingly hip indie pop queens, one English diva stands alone in a bubble of glitter and glamour. Her timeless torch songs and heartfelt ballads buck every perceivable trend in modern music by focusing on old school storytelling and sheer vocal talent. Two qualities that are captured perfectly on "The Stardust EP". As far as debuts go, this is very impressive. As it should be given Elouise's list of collaborators. Kylie's right hand man Steve Anderson produced the EP, while Dannii's former gay husband (before Nathan took over) contributed two tracks. That's not even mentioning the input of Rob from Don't Stop The Pop, who has been involved with Elouise from the very beginning and basically ensured that the whole project was fucking fabulous. Mission accomplished! "The Stardust EP" brilliantly pays tribute to the great torch singers of yesteryear without sounding tired or derivative. This woman really knows how to belt out a tune but her greatest skill lies in her unusual ability to interpret lyrics, bringing every nuance to life. Here are some random comments on Elouise's gorgeous calling card:
Names like Dusty Springfield and Nancy Sinatra are thrown around when describing Elouise's music but I think she sounds like a cross between Olivia Newton-John and Shirley Bassey. A heady mix of sweetness and frailty with a flair for the bold and dramatic. "Another Day" showcases the diva's full range. Written by Steve Anderson and Terry Ronald, the track is the best Bond anthem never attached to a 007 movie. Steve's production is absolutely epic with the kind of booming chorus that would make most of today's (non-)singers die of fright. Breathtaking.
The least hyped song on "Stardust" is probably my favourite. Terry Ronald obviously has most of these albums in his collection because "Pretender" sounds like it was stolen straight from the Streisand songbook. I wonder if Tezza remembers our chats on the Dannii Board before I was banned for crimes against Nathan (ie. DDB)... but I digress. The piano intro is lovely and I completely identify with the desperate and slightly hysterical lyrics. I just wish Elouise would hold back a little in the chorus. She occasionally veers towards the West End when she goes full throttle and it dates the song unnecessarily. Anyway, it's a very minor criticism of a truly great tune.
Fireman Of My Dreams
This is the campest thing to be released by a (genetic) female in a long time. The double entendres about hoses and poles will ensure "Fireman Of My Dreams" instant cult status, while the genuinely catchy chorus and disarmingly sweet vocal delivery should win over more discerning music fans. Personally, the song reminds me of a naughty update of ONJ's "Hopelessly Devoted To You". In fact, it wouldn't sound out of place on the "Grease" soundtrack - which, in my opinion, is a huge compliment. Listen to Elouise's dirty ditty below.
"The Stardust EP" is available to buy at the Leicester Square Theatre in London from tomorrow with a proper digital and physical release (both domestic and international) to follow in March. The packaging is stunning, so don't be stingy! In the meantime, check out Elouise on Myspace and make sure to add her on Facebook.