TIME Music

La Roux Forges a Comeback With “Let Me Down Gently”: Listen

2013 Electric Daisy Carnival New York - Day 1
Daniel Zuchnik—Getty Images Elly Jackson of La Roux performs at Electric Daisy Carnival in 2013

It's been five years since La Roux had a surprise hit with "Bulletproof" — and now, they're back with something mellower, which is "like a morose flip of fellow synthpopper Robyn’s 'Call Your Girlfriend'"

Here’s a minor milestone for you: La Roux’s debut album is now five years old. It doesn’t quite seem it, probably because most of the British group’s accolades came well after the album’s release: a sleeper US radio hit (“Bulletproof”) in 2010, a surprise Grammy in 2011, what seemed at the time like the most success any of their ‘80s-throwback synthpop peers would attain without becoming Lady Gaga. (Another sign 2009 was a very different place: Lady Gaga used to be seen as La Roux’s peer.) But the success was short-lived; “Bulletproof,” despite becoming La Roux’s biggest hit both worldwide and back home in the UK, didn’t get a substantial follow-up, and new material was sparse. “Unless we manage to write a record in two weeks I don’t think there will be anything in terms of a second record for a while,” vocalist Elly Jackson told NME – again – five years ago.

After all that time, “Let Me Down Gently” is the first that’s been heard from the new record (not counting some live material in 2013), tentatively titled Trouble in Paradise. It’s far less splashy than most of La Roux: an ambivalent-attached breakup narrative, like a morose flip of fellow synthpopper Robyn’s “Call Your Girlfriend.” The track sounds it too: flanged synth washes, moody melodies, brooding background vocals, Jackson pained and aloof amid it all – singing, crucially, with little of her usual quirk – and, the clincher, a false stop in the middle before a full-on breakdown, sax and tears on the dance floor.

Listen below.

Tap to read full story

Your browser is out of date. Please update your browser at http://update.microsoft.com


Dear TIME Reader,

As a regular visitor to TIME.com, we are sure you enjoy all the great journalism created by our editors and reporters. Great journalism has great value, and it costs money to make it. One of the main ways we cover our costs is through advertising.

The use of software that blocks ads limits our ability to provide you with the journalism you enjoy. Consider turning your Ad Blocker off so that we can continue to provide the world class journalism you have become accustomed to.

The TIME Team