"Disco is from New York, house is from Chicago, so something about this album seems to really resonate (in America)," says U.K. singer.
New York's Music Hall of Williamsburg was a fitting stage for the unveiling of Little Boots Version 2.0. After chasing major label pop stardom on her 2009 debut "Hands," Little Boots -- aka 29-year-old British singer Victoria Hesketh -- went back to her dance roots and self-released her long-awaited follow-up, "Nocturnes," on Tuesday (May 8).
"Here in New York, the new album resonates really well because it's got a lot of those disco influences," Hesketh told Billoard prior to last night's show at Brooklyn's Music Hall of Williamsburg. "Disco is from New York, house is from Chicago, so something about this album seems to really resonate [in America]."
Despite landing her first bonafide hit in her native U.K. (the RedOne-produced "Remedy"), Hesketh has grown comfortable with her U.S. fan base. She sold out Music Hall of Williamsburg, drawing a crowd of indie aficionados and the sort of pop fans with an ear to the ground -- those who have their Florence and Robyn records, but can chat you up about Katy B and Disclosure as well.
Little Boots' music would reach its full potential in a larger theatre, where its myriad synthesizers and New Order homage would have more space to fill and more hands to shoot into the air. By starting her own label and regaining creative control from the clutches of the major label game, Hesketh might never ascend to those heights, but she's put herself on intimate terms with those who have stayed loyal and given her pop career some staying power. The Brooklyn gig, amidst a string of U.S. dates in support of the new LP, seemed like an early chapter in that reinvention.
Hesketh and her backing band (which included a live drummer and a pair of synth players) performed nine of "Nocturnes'" 10 songs. There was even a surprise performance of the bubbly non-album track "Headphones" ("I wear my headphones at the disco and nobody ever has to know!") that got a better-than-usual reception for a non-album track. It all culminated with the back-to-basics synth banger "Shake," which closed the encore beneath a sea of confetti (courtesy of openers Avan Lava, who stormed the stage with confetti guns). Still, Little Boots aren't ready to close the book on the major label days, including "Remedy" and another "Hands" track -- "Meddle" (an unlikely collaboration with pop producer Greg Kurstin and Hot Chip's Joe Goddard) -- in the encore. Both inspired as much intensity from the crowd's front rows as any if the set's selections.
In chatting up the crowd, Hesketh echoed her talk with Billboard hours earlier - gratitude, relief, and a bit of basking in accomplishment were the themes of the evening. "The thing that's been defining me for three years has been, 'I'm finishing my second album and it's taking a while,'" said Hesketh. "Now that's not the thing that defines me. I feel really free all of a sudden."
Here is the set list from 's show:
New In Town
Every Night I Say a Prayer
All For You