9TH SEPTEMBER / ISLAND RECORDS / LOVE IT
Petite Meller is a French singer-songwriter and this is her debut album Lil Empire. Sometimes pop music drops a gem that goes far beyond what the radio and charts promote, and this is one of those records. Petite dropped this record unexpectedly and wow, what a wonderful surprise it is.
‘The Flute’ kicks off the record with a main melody delivered by the flute itself, immediately notifying listeners of the eccentricities of Petite Meller’s sound. The track flourishes as an upbeat pop tune though, filling the airwaves with all kinds of piano keys, flutes and synths as well as Petite’s distinct voice and additional gospel harmonies too. This heavily layered sound signals the start of a record that fortunately follows the same formula.
Vampire Weekend would be proud of the main beat to ‘Hawaii’ which sees a scrappy synth beat scurry itself along the airwaves against a fun bassline and finger clicks and handclaps. ‘Milk Bath’ then follows with an equally bouncy instrumental, which is where I began to fall in love with Lil Empire. Lead single ‘Baby Love’ aims for the dancefloor as house-elements flood this tune with a simple piano tune driving the track right to the hips and the desire to dance begins to overwhelm as Petite Meller throws all sorts of drum and bass into the chorus, immediately becoming a larger-than-life being. A great track.
Lil Empire is a superb debut album from Petite Meller. It’s an effortless pop record full of instrumentals that stand out against the genre and shows that great music can come out of anywhere. Tracks such as ‘Baby Love’ and ‘Lil’ Love’ aim for the mainstream but the deep cuts also keep hipsters like me satisfied with well layered instrumentals full of sounds such as the saxophone contribution on ‘Power’ as well as others too. It’s a wonderful record, and I’m so glad to have been surprised by it.