For me, it was difficult. I’d always been the one that liked the cool bands and artists, and the shelves were full of Factory records, err, records, alongside The Smiths and The Cure. And yet, here was this tune, this glorious, wonderful tune that I couldn’t get out of my head, yet I wasn’t quite ready to accept out loud that I liked it. The song in question was former Go-Go rhythm guitarist turned pop princess (albeit fairly briefly) Jane Wiedlin, with ‘rush hour’. And so the idea of the guilty pleasure was introduced to me.
Over the years of course, I became (a little) louder and prouder about my guilty pleasures as they came and went, and I came to realise that, like everything else musical, there’s good and bad pop music. And one of the ones that produced the consistently good stuff, and so earned that coverted place amongst not only factory records and the smiths et al on the shelves, but also the newcomers on the trendy, indie, electro and everything else was Sophie Ellis Bexter.
Of course she had it all anyway. Incredibly beautiful, but classy, she also had this sort of engaging perfect pop voice. But she also made pop records that infected both my records shelves, but also regularly the charts and the dancefloors. And so, on January 20th, she’s back with her fifth album, Wonderlust ‘Wanderlust’ will be Sophie Ellis-Bextor’s fifth studio album and she’s co-written it with acclaimed singer-songwriter Ed Harcourt, who also came in as producer and arranger for the sessions, which took just two weeks in a London studio with a Co-written, produced and arranged by acclaimed singer-songwriter Ed Harcourt, Wanderlust was recorded in a London studio in just two weeks with a tightly-knit group of musicians and friends.
The first single from Wonderlust is Young Blood, and straight away you can see its all there. The voice,the look, and the pop sensibility. But also there’s this sense perhaps brought about by the collaboration with Ed Harcourt, that she’s somehow grown into this more ‘adult’ sound, with its sort of indie folk leanings. The song lilts and shuffles along, and its more organic, less sheen about this new Sophie Ellis Bexter. It is good though, very good.
It raises the bar for the new album. Young blood is most definitely a pleasure, and I can say that without a trace of guilt.
Tues 21st London Bush Hall (sold out)
Mon 7th Birmingham Institute
Tues 8th Oxford Academy
Thurs 10th London Union Chapel
Fri 11th London Union Chapel (extra date added due to demand)
Sun 13th Bournemouth Academy
Mon 14th Brighton Concorde 2
Tues 15th Bristol Academy
Thurs 17th Gateshead Sage (Hall 2)
Fri 18th. Manchester Ritz
Sat 19th Glasgow Oran Mor