Listen to La Roux's self-titled debut album and Annie Lennox and Depeche Mode may come to mind. Lead singer-songwriter Elly Jackson cites both as inspiration. But listen again, because underneath the synthesized beats the bare-bones lyrics speak for themselves. It's not complicated and – as doesn't often happen – I found myself nearly instantaneously humming along. It's easy to tap your feet (and not feel like a pop-a-licious weakling, well me anyways).
Elly was a delight in person, at one point taking a break to fit in a dinner (microwaveable soup in a bowl eaten on the floor in the hallway) – at another ohhing and ahhing over fashion house Viktor & Rolf, praising her dad (who stayed at home with Elly and her sister while her mother worked full time) and finally, slightly ripping on Taylor Swift. She is straightforward and did not hesitate in sharing her opinion on the Brit awards (she did not attend) or on her aspirations. She feels the most honest evaluation comes from the crowd reaction at festivals. No matter what her label says, she gauges how she is doing by what the crowd tells her. And so far, that has been good.
At the end of the shoot her stylist was leaving messages for Kate Moss looking for the perfect place to grab a drink or dinner (other than soup) as Elly got ready for a charity concert by getting her makeup done and dusting off her bespoke suit. It was sort of like an indie-electro androgynous sorority (if that makes sense) party between the giggling and the planning. As I left, the group of young women were wondering how much they should worry about the fans as they headed out into the night – lately there have been more and more of them wanting autographs or a quick chat or picture. It seems as if I caught Elly at that certain breaking point between life as she knows it and life as it will be with fame. She smiled and thanked me repeatedly for the interview, but I have a feeling she won't be eating microwave-able soup for long.