Louise Burns (previously of Lillix, Canadian pop-rock group formed in 1997 and ‘kinda’ still going according to their bird feed) has been quoted saying her work is rarely confessional. But listening to new album Element, I felt she could have been writing about time she and I had spent together.

All those years ago, drinking on a patio, the sky was coloured indigo …”

There’s certainly a distance, a casual attitude to the feelings she writes about. It’s as though she’s half-consciously remembering something sweet from years ago rather than dredging through thriving demons – but Element feels personal. Having written these lines on gut instinct after my first listen, I was interested to read “It’s about me finding a person from my past, and reconnecting” on her webpage. 

Louise’s range of skills come through on this record as much as her experience. Playing bass and synth as well as providing vocals for Gold and Youth, and producing for Ffion – she’s tried her hand at a lot of things and learned from all of them to produce something entirely her own. This is grown-up pop – and although her lyrics may not be autobiographical, to listen to her solo discography (starting with 2011’s Mellow Drama) is to see her grow into herself. Many of us are different, often wiser and more comfortable versions of ourselves at 37 than we are at 26; and it feels as though Louise has taken the same route and come into her own here.

Lead single ‘Bloom’ is the clear choice for release, with diamond-cut production and a head-nodding beat, in a different decade it might have had UK top-ten potential. Although it’s the lead though, it’s not necessarily representative and if anything I’d say the album as a whole is better than the track.

‘Hot Girls’ is the stand-out, feeling more immersive and perhaps with more depth.

Having not heard of Louise’s solo or group projects before this review, I’d now count myself a fan and am excited to be working through the full catalogue.

Sadly it seems no UK dates are coming up, but the Journal page of her website is listed as Coming Soon, you can follow Louise on Instagram, and her label Light Organ Records have a great bio page for all their artists – hers is here.