With dream pop being a whole genre of music, it is not uncommon to hear certain artists or tracks be described this way.
But Lolo Zouaï takes this to a new level.
The best way to describe her album is to compare it to the feeling you get when you realize that you’re dreaming. Free to do anything, but not sure what to expect next. Trancelike, weightless and a little bit magical.
With a blend of genres, from the R&B influenced Chevy Impala, that has a beat so slick it runs over you like syrup, to the sex-perimental pop piece that is Ride, the album is just that. One wild Ride.
There is no shortage of girls making incredible music in the industry in moment, but something about Lolo is a little different. Take Ride for example, filled with fierce attitude, and not afraid to get a lil’ freaky, the song invites you to dance if you dare, but it doesn’t stop at being a pop dance-floor filler. Incorporating her French roots with lines like ‘You’re so damn cocky/C’est tout pour toi?’ it’s such a simple way of adding that little extra seasoning to a track, in a way that no-one else is doing.
Moi is a track that highlights Lolo’s talent to the max. Mixing her languages just as smoothly as she mixes genres, it is evident in the line ‘Hit ’em with the bilingual’ she’s aware she has a sound that is super special, and this confidence is key. Each track is pulled off in a way that sounds so sure of itself that the listener doesn’t even take a moment to question it, leaving you to just hit the repeat button.
One song on the album that is impossible to turn off is Caffeine. A track as addicting as the drug it takes its name from, the lyrics might not be as experimental and complex as others on the album, but that’s what makes it work. Lines like “French Vanilla drippin’ in your cup” are just provocative enough to keep you interested, without leaving too much to think about, meaning you can turn the track on and get lost in the otherworldly sound again, and again, and again.
The sound and lyrics aren’t all that makes Lolo Zouaï so strong, her final weapon is her voice. Blue is the perfect example of this. Starting off with a play on the classic Eifell 65 track (Daba-dee, daba-da) it’s hard not to love the track already. But its Lolo’s ability to control the mood that wins you over.
Describing days that we’ve all had “Swear this is the last time I wanna be hungover/I just need to be left alone,” the playful, confident tone seen in earlier tracks is nowhere to be seen. Instead we are met with moody, haunting vocals in two different languages, that set the whole tone for the track. Harmonized, echo-effect layered vocals add an extra layer of emotion, that catches you up in Lolo’s story, and brings you closer to the singer.
Beaucoup feels like the only plausible end for the album, it is a love song that isn’t really a love song. Taking on a nostalgic, classic French feel Lolo walks the listener through their break-up, and at the end of a track-list this good, it truly does feel like a break-up. It is the last song of an album you just don’t want to end, and as Lolo sings ‘Sois pas triste/C’est pour ton bien’ (don’t be sad, it’s for your own sake) it is hard not to be just a little bit sad, despite what she’s telling you.
Hopefully, we can pick this love affair back up with Lolo’s next release, until then we’ll have these tracks on repeat.
Stream the album below:
Featured Image Credit -Lolo Zouaï tour poster.