reviewer: David Spencer

Looking to go head-to-head with the likes of Lykke Li and Sia, is 28 year old France Picoulet, releasing this her debut album after several years working as a producer. In fact, her recent work has included producing a remix of the aforementioned Sia’s Chandelier. France was released in January 2014 in her home country and gets its UK debut several years after one of the tracks – Ticky Ticky – first appeared on an EP.

France of course has a bit of a pedigree with electronic-pop – and it’s no surprise that this a pretty accomplished collection of floor fillers. When Owlle gets it right on the likes of Don’t Lose It, she is hugely impressive. There are touches of Madonna in her vocal on a thumping pop anthem. In sharp contrast, the 80s keyboard of Don’t Lose It is replaced with heavy 2010 rhythms on Like A Bow – and it doesn’t work as well.

Owlle is much more effective allowing a little more room in the production, weaving her vocal around an Angelo Badalamenti-like beat on the gorgeous Your Eyes, or adding sprinklings of OMD or Pet Shop Boys on Disorder. The single – and opening track – Fog combines both the atmospherics and the brooding beats but doesn’t hit home quite like other parts of the album. Repeated listens may discover hidden depths – but Owlle’s debut displays a singer still trying to find her niche. A little too much here sounds like everything else from the world of electro-pop in 2014.

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