Sophie Ellis-Bextor has been in the music industry for around 17 years. Starting off as a singer of an indie band Theaudience, she soon became a solo artist, dominating the mainstream pop/disco music in the early 2000’s.
Currently known for her dance anthems and occasional DJ work, it seems that Ellis-Bextor is going back to her indie roots in this record, teaming up with Ed Harcourt to produce the string and piano heavy Wanderlust. The title itself leads to pictures of foreign lands and life-changing adventures, and the music isn’t far from it.
Young Blood was the first single released from the new album in November last year and has already earned enough critical acclaim to peak at the #10 spot in the UK Indie Chart. The song puts Ellis-Bextor in a refreshing acoustic setting that she has rarely been seen in.
Birth Of An Empire is the first track off the album and immediately sets up a sort of oriental atmosphere with the silky articulation of the strings. The foreign sound seems to be a loose theme in the album, with the same sort of foreign elements present in the ambient-like melody of Runaway Daydream reminiscent of modern Icelandic music, to a heavily Eastern-European like twang in Love Is A Camera.
On the other hand we see the song The Deer & The Wolf, which screams indie. It’s upbeat tenor even features a tambourine and shows that the album is more than just a melancholic record, with minor chords and brooding lyrics. The Deer & The Wolf includes an optimistic and cheery Ellis-Bextor without all the synths and digital beats.
As the album progresses it reaches a song called 13 Little Dolls. It’s hard to pinpoint whether the song is completely different, or exactly the same as singer’s music style. Her fast-paced singing may remind you of the catchy chorus of Murder On The Dancefloor, but the even faster beat and distorted guitars makes you think you’re listening to a new artist entirely.
Another song that feels quite different from the rest of Ellis-Bextor’s discography is Interlude. A raspy, old-time radio sound takes over the song and acts as a sort of war-time lullaby, which surprisingly suits her delicate vocals. Wanderlust proves that the 34 year old artist is more than just some noughties’ pop star.