Hot List: La Roux

5.17.2009

By Jason Lamphier

La Roux grew up listening to her father's Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young records, but as soon as she heard the Knife's cascading modern classic 'Heartbeats,' the 21-year-old London musician knew she wanted to make a swift transition from acoustic strumming to lustrous electro-pop. Her self-titled full-length debut, out in June on Polydor, sports sub-zero cyber melodies (see the sinister 'In for the Kill' and 'Quicksand,' whose bass line evokes Prince's 'When Doves Cry'), but much like her frosty foremother Annie Lennox, La Roux (real name: Elly Jackson) injects a healthy dose of emotional turmoil into her songwriting. 'This album is very personal to me,' she says, adding that she barely finished recording her ballad 'Cover My Eyes' before shedding a few tears in the studio. But what of the starved fashionista -- who's a sucker for vampy collars and vintage '80s leather bomber jackets -- and her ginger swoop? Has she outshined a certain Miss Winehouse with the towering statement? 'I'm not sure,' she replies, laughing. 'I mean, doesn't she hide, like, drugs and little people in her hair?'

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