This Elle Le Fantome article was written by Jack Willis, a GIGsoup contributor.
Paint It Blacker is the debut album from Brooklyn solo artist Elle Le Fantome, or Tyler Elizabeth to her friends, and it is an impossibly hard album to pin down. The opening track, of which the album is named after, sets an instantly dark mood, encapsulating all the emotions of a bad trip whilst also managing to display profound and intellectual production techniques and vocals, almost mirroring a softer Crystal Castles.
However the rest of the album is stuck in a confusing limbo of dance-pop beats and foreboding synthesizers. There is no real flow from song to song; it seems rather that the songs were produced individually rather than as an album. The problem with this is that just when one song sends you to a certain mood, that mood is instantly contradicted by the next. This is most noticeable in the transition between the tracks ‘My One’, which has a rather upbeat (that term is used very loosely here) sound and ‘June 2014’, an overly simplistic medley of dark, slow sounds that sends you begging for the next track.
‘Sore’ is by far the best song on the album and is the direction of which Paint It Blacker should have taken, but it is also the shortest stand-alone song. Tracks such as ‘Zelda Sayre’, and ‘Burn’ are technically the strongest tracks; they are the more interesting and stand a little bolder than others. But unfortunately, each song feels a little like a filler track. Filler tracks would be fine, if the album had a bit more grandeur to it, but there is little build and little that is memorable as a whole.
Upon listening to the album three of four times, you will be able to hear new basslines and melodies that you didn’t hear the first time around. There are elements here that are genuinely artistic and show Le Fantome’s talent-but these are just too few and far between.
Although there is much potential for Tyler; her vocals resemble a gloomy cross between Lana Del Ray and Warpaint. Granted, there are moments of great producing but Paint it Blacker is not a memorable album. Nothing sticks in the mind and nothing leaves you wanting more, but rather waiting for more to happen, which regrettably doesn’t.
‘Paint It Blacker’ is out now