When last we heard from Alma Elste, we debated the intricacies and variances that constitute a debut. With her return today we get to ruminate on whether a new song is indeed a new song if it has been released to the wilds of the internet previously; and do reworkings and finessings of the new version that make it a little different to the version that preceded it in fact enable it to be classified as new or should it be called a reimagining or something equally barbaric?
In reality we care little for the semantics (but it does make for a good an unnecessarily confusing opening paragraph) instead we like to focus on the music itself and the artist’s intention / position. If Alma Elste tells us that “Virtualism” is a new song, then a new song it is! (Cue much huzzahing in the AB office).
What “Virtualism” unquestionably is, is a superbly piece of brooding electropop. The synth lines ooze out, smoke-like, through twists and turns of a futuristic dystopia, drums rolling like the cityscape coming into view as you drive down the highway. There is a shudder of electronics like the engine of a ship hovering above the streets, a spotlight shining on the various miscreants below. Think Vangelis meets Giorgio Moroder. It’s fantastically dark, blurred and cinematic and new or not, it’s well worth listening to again and again.