It's not only La Roux's sound that's borrowed from the '80s, but her look as well. Tim Jonze may have put it best when he wrote in the Guardian that "the synth-vixen from Brixton [was] done up like a new rave Tilda Swinton fresh from mugging Flock Of Seagulls for their fringes" when he sat down for an interview with the artist. Check out that hair in the video clip for "Quicksand," a cut from La Roux's forthcoming self-titled debut album.
Jackson's collaboration with Langmaid also brings to mind '80 duos the Eurythmics and Yazoo (Yaz in America), which were fronted by striking sirens Annie Lennox and Alison Moyet, respectively, but with a male--Dave Stewart and Vince Clarke--largely crafting the sound from the shadows. Langmaid is even more low-profile than Stewart and Clarke. "He doesn't want to be a pop star," Jackson has said. Yet, it was Landmaid--a fan of such acts as Japan, Blancmange and Simple Minds--who was the driving force behind Jackson's move from acoustic guitars to all synths, all the time. "I think guitar music has had its day, for now anyway, unless it gets reinvented in some way," Jackson told the BBC. "I think it's definitely time for some serious synth action."
I'm not quite ready to write off guitar music yet, but I do think La Roux retro electopop is a pleasant diversion. You can check La Roux out in the flesh on a series of U.S. club dates, beginning July 22 at Café Du Nord in San Francisco, and festival appearances, including stops at All Points West in New York on Aug. 2 and Lollapalooza on Aug 7 in Chicago. Look for the act's self-titled debut when it streets on Sept. 29. In the meantime, check out the video for another one of La Roux's U.K. smash hits, "In For The Kill."
- La Roux