With Little Boots about to return for round two, she might be about to return to some serious competition in the form of Liverpudlian Elsie who knocked us out with debut pop/rock stormer 'The Assassin (Bang Bang)' (out February 13th). Further investigation into her back catalogue and we'd hit on the formula for why we like her so much; with throaty vocals and huge hooks ready for you on each track, she sounds both razor sharp and excitingly raw and with an overabundance of "kooky" female singers, Elsie's unashamedly straightforward pop/rock - she prefers the term discorock - is a breath of fresh air in an increasingly stagnant market.
Armed with this knowledge, we felt it was only fair to introduce her to you and with Elsie showing an adept line in market trading, it's easily one of our most entertaining intros yet.
What's your earliest musical memory?
Crying on stage at The Floral Pavilion in New Brighton. I was plucked out of the audience by comedian Stan Boardman at a pantomime when I was six to duet with him on the song 'Singing In The Rain'. He threw a yellow PVC hat and mac on me and I froze. I don't remember being scared of the audience but I do remember not liking him and his spitting too much. I was panicking because I didn't know the words to the song. I still have nightmares about being on stage and not knowing any lyrics. Is it too late to put a claim in against Stan Boardman?
If you could hold a recording session with any five artists, who would you choose?
Part of me wants to pick all the biggies.. Aretha, Beyonce, Mariah, Jessie J & Whitney etc but I'd come out wanting to kill myself with my mic lead. Some people are just insanely technically gifted, makes me dizzy. I think my ideal recording session would be me sitting on a high stool behind the mic, John Lennon gently strumming away offering melodies and lyrical advice, Mariah Carey (fresh from the 90's with big hair, next-to-nothing makeup and blue jeans) on backing vocals, Miles Kane bringing some proper riffs in on leccy guitar and RZA tapping out some beats and bass lines. I'd like to think we could record a new take on 'Singing In The Rain', just so I can put that whole Stan Boardman episode to bed.
You want to describe your music to a stranger on the street, who do you compare yourself to?
To keep it short and sweet (cause they are only a stranger after all) I'd say I'm somewhere in between Blondie and Arctic Monkeys via The Strokes and Lily Allen. I'm calling my music "discorock". I mix live disco beats with rock guitars. It's simple and I can play every tune live with my band and it sounds like the record. That's what I really wanted. No offense to Taio Cruz & David Guetta etc, it just really bores me at a gig. I'm into real music, I'm a real instruments girl. Live to me means live, not 90% backing track.
You are going to live on a desert island for a year, which three albums do you take with you?
Alanis' Jagged Little Pill for when I'm feeling angry about the lack of albums I have on the island, Blondie's Parallel Lines for when I'm happy dancing around the palm trees in my coconut bra and Paolo Nutini's These Streets for when I wanna get lost in thought on my hammock as the sun goes down. Perfect.
Everyone has a defining music moment, one that lives on in the memory, what is yours?
Playing The 100 Club for the first time with my band. The whole day felt like it was bubbling up into something BIG. I was so excited to see all the legends on the walls when I arrived for soundcheck - the Stones, Sex Pistols, The Clash - sweating on the same stage we were about to play! I knew playing a place like that would be special and to top it off we had a Sex Pistol come and check us out. I don't think I actually got home that night. The whole band were on a high and we got asked back to headline 'cause the crowd went mental for us. I've probably played over a 1000 gigs in my life but I remember everything about this one. Playing there just feels right, I know I'll be playing it again.
What is the best gig you've ever been to and why?
Amy Winehouse's last gig. I still can't believe it when I think back. Amy wanted to get back in practice for her new summer tour dates last year so she put on two practice gigs at The 100 Club in front of friends and family only, to get a feel for performing again. I'm friends with some of her band so I got an invite. I didn't know what to expect because I'd never seen her before and I remember feeling nervous for her as she hadn't performed in a while. I was stood at the side and she came on saying hello to her dad and apologising to her school teacher aunt for swearing, she was really funny. Her voice was undeniable, it was like listening to an old record player. She sounded like a legend from a long long time ago. There were times when her voice didn't work, it cracked on notes but she simply turned to the audience and asked if they had any honey in their handbags. She was a real character. Unfortunately she didn't live long after that. I heard the sad news whilst getting ready for a gig in France. I went on stage with Amy written in black eyeliner on my hand as a tribute and a thank you for my invite to the best and most memorable gig of my life to date.
Where do you see yourself in five years time?
On a desert island with my 3 favourite albums! [laughs] I'd love to be working on my fifth/sixth album and still performing and enjoying the music, maybe have a few more rescue dogs and be able to speak Spanish better than I do now! I'm awful and I have an A level in it apparently! #someonemixeduptheresults
If we were to look at your MP3 player, what is the most embarrassing track or album that we'd find?
There's a whole library of cheese and unnecessary songs on my iPod. Where shall I start? If the theme tune to Pugwall doesn't finish you off then the soundtrack to Aladdin will or perhaps my Peter Andre library is more for you? I also have a loads of tracks of me singing quietly on public transport into my recorder with melody ideas for songs. I usually sing cheesy jibberish lines just to get an idea for the melody. That's why I never play my iPod on shuffle at house parties!
How would you sell your new single 'The Assassin' to us?
If I was on a market stall crying out for potential customers to come and buy my single I'd say something to this effect: "Sick and tired of skanky women in clubs hitting on your fella? Fed up of all the crap artificial music on the radio today? Bored to tears of yet another X Factor winner bringing out a Number One selling album" full of someone else's tunes?... If so then get your ears round this girls! Two for a pound!"
What's next for Elsie?
Continuing the daily struggle against mass produced music in a wildly ambitious attempt to get my songs on the radio despite not being produced by David Guetta, featuring Pitbull or mentioning "raising a glass of crystal/Moet in the club".
Elsie's debut single 'The Assassin (Bang Bang)' is out on February 13th through Big Print. Find out more about her at either her official website - www.elsiemusic.com - or her Facebook - www.facebook.com/ElsieMusic.