The idea of a Parisian philosophy student doing polemical things with pop should be appealing. That is, until Petite Meller – 22, now London-based, creepy, infantilised look – ruins your sense of yourself as open-minded. Meller’s debut album, surprise-released last week, comes packing a few sterling tunes, Backpack chief among them. But however strong house-pop tracks such as The Flute or Baby Love are, Meller’s overstylised presentation distracts from her music. She has drawn accusations of tokenism in her videos and objections to her breathy Lolita aesthetic. Often, you wonder if it’s all an art prank, particularly when Meller rhymes “dreamers” with “Argentina” and an 80s sax honks along.
Petite Meller: Lil Empire review – house-pop with a creepy aesthetic
Kitty Empire is the Observer's pop critic. She has written for NME and occasionally crops up on Radio 4, 5Live, BBC 6Music, and has appeared on BBC2's The Culture Show and Newsnight Review. @kittyempire666