elle le fantôme, known to her friends and family as Tyler Elizabeth, is an electronic pop artist. After moving to Brooklyn in 2013, fantôme began recording her own music.
After recording two EPs, she decided it was time for a full-length album. Thus, we are presented with paint it blacker at our doorstep.
Just so you, the reader, knows, I’m not an idiot. elle le fantôme and paint it blacker are both proper names, but it is intentional that they are not capitalized.
Moving on. fantôme’ has been described as minimalistic. Other than a synthesizer and drum machine, the only other noise to be heard is often her voice. Before you go questioning her style, she knows what she is doing. Elizabeth, before becoming elle, went to Berklee School of Music. This, however, does not make her music good; it just means that it is structurally and compositionally sound.
paint it blacker is a quiet and short album. It took me less than 30 minutes to listen to the whole album. The thing about it was that I felt like I missed something. It was too simple. It couldn’t be that simple. So I started it over.
fantôme is smart (obviously, since she went to Berklee). But her intellect is passed on through her music. I felt like I couldn’t play it loud, or it would take away from what she tried to accomplish. It felt like a glass of expensive scotch, best tasted and not shotgunned.
I had my hesitations and preconceptions about this album, but I was wrong. I really enjoyed this album, more so the second time through. Compositionally, I would have to say that elle le fantôme is moving towards being the Kanye West of the Pop Synth world. The only real problem I had with the album was the grittiness of the vocals, even if intentional; as well as the similarities between the majority of the tracks. I wanted to notice differences between tracks and that was lacking.
There are going to be people that hate this album and demolish it in their reviews, and I can see why they would do that. It is an odd album and it has an unusual style for today’s music. But elle has figured out how to make it work. This album is far from perfect, but it is a solid showing for her first full-length album and I look forward to hearing more.
Tracks to remember: sore, my one, closer
Tracks to forget: june 2014
*Images from Team Clermont PR