Nordic Music Central Viking Hero

ELBA (Denmark) – You do you (single)

An unusual title and one that marks ELBA’s (Ellen Bathum) statement of intent that she will not be held down or back, that she believes in her own abilities, even when life kicks her in the crotch. She’s an individual, playing herself in the Theatre of Life, being her true self.

And what is good for her is good for everyone else. It’s her modern day take on the sentiments of Perry/Aguilera’s ‘Beautiful’ if you like, 20 years on, but much more energetically.

It is the first single since her pandemic album ‘Teardrops & Blind Spots’ in which she invited listeners into her stressed out world, creating alternative pop songs as a remedy to her melancholia.

She’s evidently bounced straight out of that maudlin existence on this track, ‘You do you’, which is as bouncy as the bounciest bouncy castle, highly tuneful and catchy as hell.

There are some salty and quietly aggressive lyrics. Elba sounds like she isn’t the sort to be messed with while she’s climbing her own ladder. She chucks in a few expletives to liven things up as well. I don’t mind personally but you always need to be aware that many radio stations won’t play it in that state, and not only the BBC, for which it would be verboten, so there’s the cost and inconvenience of recording a cleaned up version to consider.

I suppose what I’m saying is, “is it necessary”?

There’s a film out called ‘You do you’ on Netflix and with a similar storyline. I don’t believe there’s any connection. Sometimes these things help, sometimes they hinder. The film would probably benefit from the song rather than vice versa.

On the strength of the track alone its obvious Elba has energy, a powerful pop anthem-oriented voice, and that she can write a tune. I fact there are several of them in this song alone.

Vocally, she’s like Kiley on steroids.

Napoleon Bonaparte found solitude on Elba, the island to which he was exiled in 1814. And our Elba has followed his example in a manner of speaking by exiling herself to the Danish countryside, far from the madding crowds of Copenhagen.

It seems to be working for her.

’You do you’ is out September 8th.

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