• Ellie Howorth

Single Review: Ellie Bleach - He Bought Me Nikes

London-based alt-pop singer Ellie Bleach has recently released her soulful new single, He Bought Me Nikes.

Melding dazzling pop melodies with rich vocal hooks, Bleach draws upon sharp lyricism surrounding around dictator-esque men with magnetic qualities; describing guys with the “Charisma of a cult leader, entitled as an aristocrat, persistent as a cold caller, overbearing mother, distant dad” – a toxic, yet incredibly witty combination.

Blending an array of instrumental sections, featuring harpsichords, string sections, piano, and bass, He Bought Me Nikes waltzes into a sepia-toned baroque pop track, shining with vintage sparkle. Meanwhile, Bleach’s vocal style draws out comparisons to the likes of Fiona Apple and St Vincent, spiralling with a mellow breeziness which complements the melodic lyric hooks.

Her first release of 2020, He Bought Me Nikes is the latest instalment in Bleach’s small, but steadily growing discography, after she released the Petty EP in 2017 on a limited-edition cassette run. The video for the track is a VHS-style teleshopping advert, featuring Bleach presenting a ‘How to Start a Cult’ book, in reference to the song’s lyrics. Fizzing with charisma, the video was filmed during lockdown, with Bleach lighting candles, creating a salt pentagram, and painting a book all to add to the cinematic effect.

After previously supporting Brad Stank, Still Corners, and Tanukichan across the past couple of years, Bleach has also performed her own headline sets throughout various London venues, and also featured on an Instagram livestream set up by Hard of Hearing Music during lockdown. Bleach delayed the initial release of the single in solidarity with Black Lives Matter protests across the world, whilst all Bandcamp profits of He Bought Me Nikes are set to go to the Black Lives Matter movement.

He Bought Me Nikes is Bleach’s most thought-provoking release yet, and it'll be intriguing to see where she goes next.

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