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A bright run through a dark night
on 22 August 2013
Little Boots - who divided opinion with her début album - claims Nocturnes got its name as it is "an album indebted to the night". Now a DJ as well as a songwriter and eclectic electropop performer, it's clear that her time spent away from the studio and into the club scene made a big impression on this next foray into the charts.
Both a departure and extension of her previous effort, which was heavily influenced by synthpop, Nocturnes puts one foot to the side and one foot in the past as 80's and 90's dance, eurohouse and trance collide, all filtered through modern disco and pop overtones, birthing a fantastic retro celebration with both nostalgia and futurism in mind. For example, the structure of "Shake" seems to derive from Green Velvet and Walter Phillip's "Shake and Pop", itself a reference to dance crazes of the past.
Unlike Hands, Nocturnes has - quite fittingly - darker themes and tones, characterised by moody expressions of atmospheric ambience and effects, giving an ethereal but laidback feel. Keeping with the concept, many of the songs have hopeful lyrics, brightly burning like neon-drenched rays of light illuminating the otherworldly spirit of the night evoked by the music. Even if you didn't like her first album, you should try this out; it's at once both different and the same and is sometimes as magical as the nights from which it owes so much to.