As the title suggests, Little Boots' 2013 release, Nocturnes, is a sultry, late-night, slow burn of an album that finds the British electronic diva building upon the anthemic dance-oriented sound of her 2009 debut Hands. Having carved out a niche on the increasingly crowded dancefloor amongst a gaggle of similarly inclined acts like Ellie Goulding, La Roux, Robyn, and Lady Gaga with such cuts as "Stuck on Repeat," and "Earthquake," Victoria Hesketh aka Little Boots has found a more personal niche within the genre on Nocturnes. Subsequently, though still an infectious listen, Nocturnes is a surprisingly low-key affair. Tracks like "Strangers" and "Motorway," in which Little Boots fantasizes about jumping in her car and getting away from her troubles in a kind of road-trip catharsis, have an expansive, ambient quality that seems to reflect a more introspective mood. In "Motorway" she sings "Getting late, coffee's cold/Heavy eyes on the road/We won't stop, no we won't break/Shadows high overtake/The small town we left behind/It's not even on my mind." These kind of ruminative, evocative lyrics permeate the record, lending it a more subdued feel than one might expect from Little Boots' previous dance-heavy singles. However, there are still enough vintage-influenced dance sounds and winky, glitter-mascara moments to appeal to even the most camp-oriented club kid. To these ends, the house-influenced "Every Night I Say a Prayer" brings to mind Blonde Ambition Tour-era Madonna, and "Broken Record," with its pulsing Italo-disco beat and church bell accents, sounds like an ABBA club hit produced by Giorgio Moroder. Ultimately, if Hands was Little Boots' booty-shaking call to the dancefloor, then Nocturnes is the afterglow, post-party soundtrack for the ride home.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Matt Collar