Published Nov 26, 2015Synth-pop is the most common label tacked to the work of Marie-Helene Delorme, known better as FOXTROTT. But when it comes to her debut record, A Taller Us, it's a bit of a misnomer. Speaking with Exclaim!, Delorme identified everything from reggae and dancehall to alt-rock as an influence on her work. Though such things aren't always immediately distinguishable within the record's compositions, its strength lies in how she has brought them together in unique, experimental fashion on her first full-length.
Delorme's primary goal in making the record was to find a perfect balance between "rhythm and frequencies," one which she has largely met. Programmed drums range from blunt and stomping ("Shaky Hands, "Heads Under Water") to flirting with world beat and reggae ("Driven," "Colors"), never overpowering the straightforward melodies they've been paired with. Thought predominantly electronic, a French horn blasts its way to the forefront on the aforementioned "Shaky Hands" in a welcome moment of diversity.
This less-is-more approach to composition that Delorme has employed has left ample space for her own voice, which bears a smooth yet commanding tone, pushing its way to the forefront of the mix. Whether more tuneful or tenacious, her style is a true antithesis of the airy, flighty vocal style that has come to dominate the more conventional synth-pop sphere, effectively making A Taller Us anything but. (One Little Indian)