LONDON singer-songwriter Ellie Bleach taps into the spirit of baroque pop on her latest and very fine self-released single, “He Bought Me Nikes”.
With a voice like the finest smokey chocolate, she drapes contralto lyrics that bite over a churchy organ strain, which summons The Dixie Cups’ girl-group classic “Chapel of Love”; mellotrons, and harpsichords. “Charisma of a cult leader … entitled as an aristocrat … prepare the Pope, and prepare the rosary / Put on your Nikes,” she sings.
So, cultish, entitled, cynically religious and … Nikes? Ellie says it’s about someone who has that fatal magnetism.
“[It’s] about a type of guy that I’ve encountered time and time again with a God complex that leaves them totally aloof and detached from anyone that tries to get close to them.
“I was obsessed with the Jonestown Massacre. I kept thinking, what kind of person is so magnetic, so attractive they can lure people to their own deaths? Then I realised, I know plenty of guys like that, and have fallen for one or two.”
It’s pure and pristine 21st-century pop with bags of nous and intelligence, yet has a real late-Sixties auteur arrangement. And I can get with that.
“He Bought Me Nikes” is available now on all online platforms; all profits from Bandcamp sales will be donated to Black Lives Matter UK.