January 25, 2020
Five years after going it alone, Elly Jackson is back with a sophisticated third album – via panic attacks, scrapped songs and life advice from Joanna Lumley
La Roux: My label dropped me on New Years Day. I was like, yippee!
This is part of my stage set from Glastonbury 2010,” says Elly Jackson, AKA La Roux, pointing at an 8ft gold- and silver-plated palm tree. “I got lights fitted in it so it’s a lamp, too,” she continues, her bright orange sweater clashing perfectly with the oversized ornament. But we are not standing in some vast storage space picking out old tour props; we are in her living room in south London, where the palm tree now takes pride of place behind her TV. Even her cat Calypso eyes it up strangely as she settles on the sofa between us. Jackson had to fight to get her bold centrepiece, haggling with the hire company who kept telling her no. “They said: ‘We don’t sell stuff,’ and I was like: ‘I get that, I’m not stupid, but I will give you anything for it.’”
Fighting to get what she wants has been the overarching theme of Jackson’s tumultuous career so far, and that tenacity forms the foundation of her new album, the supple, groove-led Supervision, the first on her own label. It is still unmistakably La Roux, kaleidoscopic musical references covering her favourite 80s pop from Let’s Dance to Faith, but it also feels looser, a reflection of an artist more comfortable in their own skin. While the album itself carries a sophisticated ease (its eight tracks clock in at a luxuriant 48 minutes), it was preceded by a nightmare of scrapped songs, panic attacks and life-changing decisions.
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