When Victoria Hesketh, AKA Little Boots, introduced herself to the world back in 2008, it was in the guise of a ready-made pop star. Ten years ago, Little Boots was a conduit for glossy pop songs, complete with big hooks and catchy refrains, all designed with the top-twenty in mind. After enjoying her share of chart success with the likes of ‘New In Town’ and ‘Remedy’, Little Boots turned her hand to other sounds, releasing the stylish Working Girl in 2016, an album of elegant, compact pop that unjustly flew under the mainstream’s radar. Now, Little Boots is stripping down her sound further, investing in cold techno for her latest single ‘Shadows’, a collaboration with Brazilian DJ Joyce Muniz.
‘Shadows’ stays true to Little Boots’ fondness for succinct, uncomplicated arrangements. Skittering techno beats take precedence over heavy pop production, the track’s silky backdrop as icy as Hesketh’s vocals. But while ‘Shadows’ is an electronic affair, there’s a human heartbeat at its core, Hesketh’s desolate vocals singing of dance floor heartbreak. There’s something eerily sad in her parting words of “Back to the start again”, suggesting both a mournful retreat and, more positively, a drive to keep going.
‘Shadows’ is a taster from Little Boots’ upcoming EP Burn. It’s a project produced entirely by women, a collaborative effort that includes women graphic designers, artists and sound mixers. But speaking to V Magazine, Hesketh revealed she has no plans for another album, explaining that the idea “doesn’t feel modern”. With her sights set firmly on the future, it’s no wonder Little Boots has turned her back on the more traditional pop arrangements of her debut and is looking to explore unfamiliar territory. On ‘Shadows’, she dips her toe into the sounds of oscillating techno, finding a human touch amidst the shiver and sting of anonymous nightlife.