Illuminations EP

Sassy dance queen Little Boots mixes powerhouse musicality with polished production her snappy new EP, Illuminations.

“Aren’t ya new in town?” Little Boots appropriately sings in the opening line of Illuminations, her new U.S. EP. After all, it’s the first official American release for the latest blond, British, dance-pop bombshell to be branded the Next Big Thing. But Little Boots—Blackpool-born Victoria Hesketh—has made believers out of jaded hipsters with her unlikely dance-floor hit “Stuck on Repeat,” a DIY electro groove that’s rough enough around the edges to maintain Boots’ indie cred and infectious enough to get play at velvet-rope clubs. On Illuminations, though, Hesketh’s lo-fi sound gets a Goldfrapp-like sheen, with polished, percolating synths and vocals wrapped in reverb. But the source material is still enjoyably dark (on “Love Kills,” Little Boots sings “Love don’t give no justification/It strikes like cold steel” over crushing keyboard riffs and a banging bass line). But Illuminations is just the beginning for Hesketh; she has a North American tour this fall and a full-length, Hands, due later this year. And if her recent, shimmering live shows in New York were any indication, Little Boots has a big future ahead of her.

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