It was recently Elly Jackson’s 23rd birthday, so I thought we ought to celebrate! (But, uh, ran a little late, apparently!) Who is Elly Jackson, you ask? She’s half of British electro-pop band La Roux, who won this year’s Grammy for best electronic/dance album.
She’s also one of my favourite pop stars, because she refuses to play into a mode of femininity that doesn’t fit with her personal gender presentation preferences. She keeps her red hair sticking up, her clothes androgynous, and doesn’t ever smile for photoshoots. It’s wonderful to see a young woman who simply doesn’t care to be like anyone else, who wears the clothes she wants and makes the music she loves. It’s people like Ms Jackson who show that you don’t have to conform to be popular or, more importantly, to be good at what you do. A very happy belated birthday to her.
You have to check out La Roux’s song “Bulletproof,” which may get stuck in your head for a week solid, just to warn you. Embedding is disabled on the video, so click through to see it. Lyrics here. A transcript follows:
We open with lines snaking across a floor covered with geometric objects. There’s a shot of a pair of shoes, and then of their owner, a red-haired woman dressed in an androgynous style, sitting in a white chair with head bowed to her left side. Her head snaps up and she begins to sing. She rises and walks along a (clearly digitally created) room governed by geometric shapes and lines. The colours of the room change as we move into the chorus – and the same for the next verse – and for some shots she is standing still rather than walking. She’s back in the chair for the bridge, then, for an instrumental section, walking along a black pathway in a white room as a lot of geometric shapes hit the floor and bounce, with an explosion-like effect. Another chorus, as she walks along a corridor, the shot fragmented with a broken glass effect so that we can see her wearing bits of different outfits she has been wearing through the video (a black and white one, black clothes with a white jacket featuring coloured patches, a grey ensemble and so forth). Then there are rapidly-switching shots of her in different outfits. We end with her sitting in a chair, the shot zooming out as the lights go out.