Debuts can be funny things and often a debut, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder. Take Valerie June for example, her debut album came out last year but was preceded by three others that she had recorded and released herself. Did that mean that her debut was not her debut but that she had already debuted with her actual debut previously? She herself wasn’t too fussed either way when we met her to discuss it, but she did make the point that she would always be proud of what had come before and would never forget about it.
We mention this because we presume the same could be said for Parisian songstress, Alma Elste. We’re sure that she remains proud of her 2012 EP, the bass heavy acoustic jam, “Julian”, and last year’s “Virtualism” (which itself set the blog world into mini-frenzy mode) but all that came before she signed with new London label, Hand in Hive and as such, this, right now, “Heart Melter”, is her official debut.
It would seem that she has always been a keen devourer of pop in its many varied and eclectic forms and styles (she was taken to a Michael Jackson concert when she just was four years old) but also listened to and played classical music in her youth and has studied philosophy in New York. We mention this as it suggested that Elste has many strings to her bow and many layers to her personality, just as “Heart Melter” is a pop song full of wonderful flourishes and layers.
There’s the woodwindy opening that drifts down and settles calmly over the electronic shimmers and vocal calls; the introduction of a rhythm that gently takes your hand in readiness for the classy firework explosion of the chorus and the dreamy, Sade soft vocals. It sways and grooves like the dancefloor of a carefree 80s discotheque, just having a gentile boogie as the bass trembles, the beat trots and the synth lines probe.
Official or otherwise, it’s a great debut.