From the opening, no-nonsense drone of Elsa Carmona’s ‘Run Baby Run’, you know she means business. “You promised me the treasures / And left them on the shore” she sings over a crunch of stuttering synth beats that sound oddly submerged, as though Carmona is a mermaid, singing from the depths of the ocean. The warped blare of the arrangement evokes images of choppy waters, waves crashing against cliffs as Carmona rides above them, triumphant and defiant. “I am far behind, but I am getting closer,” she declares in the chorus, a jubilant, determined burst of superb sing-along pop.
Musically, ‘Run Baby Run’ has a fair bit in common with tracks by Lykke Li. The production is just as sharp and Carmona’s voice is similar in tone, at times bouncy and ecstatic, at others moody and detached. Despite the daunting backdrop of intricate synth drones, Caroman’s voice remains the focus here, never getting bogged down in the whirlpool arrangement, a tempest of driving beats and echoey synth groans.
‘Run Baby Run’ is one of the most immediately arresting pop songs of the year, a track that grabs your attention and refuses to let go until you’ve been dragged through its slipstream of dark dance-pop. And once you’ve emerged, you’ll only want to dive right back in.