Eliza Thornberry grew up, studied some Freud, discovered make up and started dancing. C’est ‘le nouveau jazzy pop’ also known as Petite Meller.
The French London-based singer and ‘reality-maker’ enchants us to her little Empire; an empire built on eurotrash and French chansons, ritual rhythms and tacky absurdity.
The sudden release of her album on the 19th of September left the audience no time to think; we all threw, at least once, our hands in the air and danced to ‘Baby Love’.
But Petite Meller is not just about dance, queer Roy Anderson aesthetics, and Lolita imaginaries. Blurring the borders between the post-colonially accepted (sic) and ironic, she introduces an intimately strange world, a nostalgic idling through childish memories and unconscious desires.
Petite Meller worked with a variety of producers for her debut album, though producing a homogenous world of contingencies, all powdered with some blush and pop electronic music. Congas, sax, house-pop and forgotten melodies find their way into her world.
The album begins with an alluring Mongolian flute, calling us to ‘kiss giraffes, dive into pink lakes, and dance with the tribe of Blushed Cheek Girls’. In ‘Milk Bath’ we’ll find her narrate us a love story of a girl left in her own fantasy- Freudian subconscious, agonies and saunas. Milk is our first need, right? Godard and Henri Clouzot, the French Riviera, and first sexual pangs reconcile her visual world in ‘Backpack’, a song about our disadvantages, the beautiful negatives in all of our positives. ‘America’ is not your regular Lana Del Ray, jeans and James Dean kind of song. Whereas, either for a Sunday morning or a stifling central line station in 18:00, ‘Baby Love’ is an effective way to transform you to a little child dancing and screaming la ta da da da.
Oddly, it seems that all of her songs embrace calibrated traces of our disillusioning reality, but given with an astonishingly cheerful way; lost refugees singing and abandoned loves in pink and white, as her world is about ‘shaking your blues’ away, wearing your fears proudly, propagate happiness even in the darkest moments.
Now, repeat after me:
Je dance la jazz
Avec une passion physique
Réelle et surréelle
Terrifiante et marrante
Nocturne et diurne
Solite et insolite
Le tacky terror
La guerre et la folie
Toutes ces choses
Dans mon sac à dos
Dans mon sac à dos