Wednesday, June 03, 2009

New In Town

Song: New In Town
Artist: Little Boots
Album: Hands

Next big thing alert. Joining La Roux and Chew Lips as the hot Electropop act of the summer. The chorus to "New In Town" is super catchy. And I really like their cover of The Virgins "Rich Girls," re-dubbed "Rich Boys" of course...

The album sounds very Kylie to me... in the best ways.

Hands is the debut album by English electropop singer Little Boots. It is scheduled to be released by Sixsevenine on 8 June 2009 in the United Kingdom.

Recording and production

Little Boots began recording her debut album in Los Angeles with Greg Kurstin and Joe Goddard in early 2008. While in Los Angeles, she spent two days recording with RedOne. She initially found working with RedOne intimidating because their collaboration was expected to produce a hit song. Following the BBC Sound of 2009 poll, which Little Boots won, her record label, management, and A&R team scheduled recording sessions with Dr. Luke. These sessions, however, never took place. In January 2009, Little Boots began to compile the album's track listing, a difficult process for the singer, who compared it to "cutting a limb off."

The album cover was "inspired by old Italo covers like Patrick Cowley and Amanda Lear that have lots of space and fantasy themes." According to Little Boots, the artwork is a mixture of the past and the present, a reflection of the musical styles featured on the album.

Critical reception

Hands received generally positive reviews from music critics. In a review for, Michael Cragg called it "a well-crafted, glorious pop record." reviewer Joe Zadeh disagreed, writing that the album "falls victim to attempts to reach beyond more boundaries than necessary, and thus ironically loses the concentration of the more earnest listener." David Renshaw of described Hands as "a big pop album" that "rival[s] Lady Gaga, Girls Aloud or Lily Allen." Ben Thompson of The Guardian wrote that the album's production was "diverse" and called the song "Symmetry", a duet with Philip Oakey, a "joyous cross-generational head-to-head."


"New in Town", the album's opening track, was inspired by the "seedy side of life" in Los Angeles and the strange individuals Little Boots met while recording Hands. It was chosen as the album's lead single because "it's very bold and colourful and doesn't really sound like anything else out there." The album's third track, "Stuck on Repeat", was composed by Little Boots and Goddard with Australia singer Kylie Minogue in mind. Inspired by the disco era, it was compared to Donna Summer's 1977 song "I Feel Love" by music critics. "Meddle", the album's sixth track, was released as a limited edition single in August 2008. Described by The Times as a "barnstormer" the "disco, drum and bass hybrid", reached number 97 on the UK singles chart. The song "Mathematics" was inspired by Sylvia Plath's poem "Love is a Parallax." In the song, Little Boots uses math as a metaphor for love. The ninth track, "Symmetry", a duet with The Human League singer Philip Oakey, was a "dream" for Little Boots. A fan of the band, she was surprised when Oakey agreed to provide vocals for the track.

Track listing

  1. "New in Town"
  2. "Earthquake"
  3. "Stuck on Repeat"
  4. "Click"
  5. "Remedy"
  6. "Meddle"
  7. "Ghosts"
  8. "Mathematics"
  9. "Symmetry" (with Philip Oakey)
  10. "Tune into My Heart"
  11. "Hearts Collide"
  12. "No Brakes"

Bonus tracks

The following tracks were included on the UK iTunes edition of Hands.

  1. "Meddle" (Tenori-on Piano version)
  2. "Love Kills"
  3. "New in Town" (No One is Safe - Al Kapranos remix)

Release history

The album is scheduled to be released in the United Kingdom on 8 June 2009 as a CD and digital download. Little Boots' official website offered an exclusive bundle for pre-order which included the CD, a limited edition galactic speckled 12-inch vinyl copy of the album and a 33 minute 'Hands On' mix MP3 featuring album material, non-album tracks and remixes. The 12-inch vinyl will be limited to 1000 copies.

Victoria Hesketh (born 4 May 1984), known professionally as Little Boots, is a British electropop musician. She sings, plays synthesizers, Japanese electronic instrument the Tenori-on, piano and the stylophone.


Hesketh was born in a Blackpool hospital on the Fylde coast in Lancashire though she was raised and educated in the Village of Thornton and now lives in London. Her father is a businessman and her mother is an author of children's books. She has three younger brothers. She attended fee paying Rossall School, and later the state funded Blackpool Sixth Form College and then the University of Leeds, where she gained a first-class honours degree in cultural studies, with a dissertation on the concept of originality in jazz, which included references to Jamie Cullum amongst others.

Hesketh started playing piano at age 5 and began writing at the age of 13. At the age of 16, Hesketh took part in the ITV television talent show Pop Idol, being eliminated after three rounds, but didn't make it to the round of judges, instead being eliminated by producers of the programme. She went on to form a Jazz trio, toured Europe with a big band, and later formed the dance-pop band Dead Disco. Other members of the band wanting a more alternative sound felt her writing was too "pop". In 2005 producer Greg Kurstin encouraged Hesketh to continue to write pop music. In 2009 Hesketh would say " I don’t care about being cool or edgy. I wanna reach people and I wanna make music that people have fun to and have a good time."

Her solo stage name comes from a nickname given to her by a friend after watching the film Caligula (the Latin name Caligula translates as "little boot")

In January 2009 she came top of the BBC's Sound of 2009 and second in the BRITs Critics' Choice Award behind Florence and the Machine. In an interview in January 2009, Hesketh explained that she originally wrote "Stuck on Repeat" with the intention that Kylie Minogue would sing it.

In March 2009 Little Boots played the SXSW event in Austin, Texas. She is scheduled to many of major festivals in the UK during the summer of 2009.

Hesketh has confirmed that she will collaborate with American rapper Kid Cudi on a new version of his single "Day 'n' Nite" to be used to promote his debut album.

Hesketh says that she retains creative control over her music by choosing her own producers and putting tracks on MySpace where she blogs regularly. Joe Goddard of Hot Chip collaberated with her on Stuck on Repeat. She co wrote Remedy with American producer RedOne. She has co-written songs with Greg Kursten and Biff Stannar. Jas Shaw from Simian Mobile Disco has produced two songs for her while Phil Oakey of The Human League duetted with her on a song entitled Symmetry'.

Little Boots début single New in Town written about being away from home in Los Angeles has been released. Her début album Hands is scheduled for 8 June release. The album is one of the first releases for the revamped Elektra Records.

She was linked by The Observer to a wave of female pop musicians in their 20s, including Lady Gaga, Lissy Trullie, Ladyhawke, and Elly Jackson from the synth duo La Roux, who have "distinctive fashion sense, saturated by 80s references and insouciant androgyny"

Little Boots is on tour that will see her play a scheduled 33 festivals in 2009. Hesketh in a column for The Times wrote that she is playing "some extended rave edits of some of the songs, with some ridiculous, epic breakdowns". She is basing her live set on David Bowie's Glass Spider Tour and Kate Bush's The Tour of Life.

In the Media

As of May 2009 Little Boots are the only act to appear on 'Later... with Jools Holland' twice prior to releasing an album.

On 4 March 2009 Little Boots was the subject of the entire late night talk show program Last Call with Carson Daly in the US. Hesketh was interviewed by Daly and several clips from a Los Angeles nightclub performance were shown.

She appeared on BBC One's Breakfast TV show on the morning of 11th May 2009, and played and sung a version of "Stuck on repeat" using the Tenorion. She stressed that she'd played the piano since being a child and wrote all of her songs, and wasn't just another voice in a production line of pop songs. She admitted that being the winner of the BBC's Sound of 2009 was a double-edged sword because it had led to great opportunities but had also put pressure on her to succeed.

An advert for Victoria's Secret contains a clip from "Meddle".

Little Boots music will be used in the soundtrack for the upcoming American horror film Jennifer’s Body.

On 27th May 2009 she appeared on BBC Radio 4's programme Woman's Hour.


New In Town

Stuck on Repeat

Rich Boys (The Virgins Cover)

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