Ilia Darlin appeared on my radar early last year with her quirky debut single "Car Crash". That demented anthem was hard to ignore. The Greek Gaga (as she was erroneously described in press releases) delivered a heavily-accented gem about having the last laugh - complete with a butcher shop-themed video and a rather fetching neon string bikini. Needless to say, she became an instant favourite of mine and I had my fingers crossed that the song would take off. It didn't.
Happily, Ilia is back with a slightly watered-down image, better pronunciation and a more commercial pop sound. Her label is even promoting the new track as her debut - dismissing "Car Crash" as a buzz single. Uh huh. The good news is that the song is a triumph. Produced by Billy Mann (Pink, Kelly Rowland and Robyn), "Hit Me" is a crisp dance anthem with a huge chorus that is equal parts Eurovision and underground electro. The video is also pretty cute with Ilia apparently running away from home to sing in empty nightclubs while writhing around on stage like a stripper. She looks gorgeous and it's oddly perfect for the song. Make no mistake, Ms Darlin is definitely one to watch in 2012.
"Hit Me" is released digitally on January 30.