Queen of the Mall is the new EP release from Flossing, AKA Heather Elle of The Wants and BODEGA, and the EP is her first solo outing and one of many releases that are a direct result of COVID bringing an abrupt end to touring and band-related activity, an awful reason for something to come to life but a great outcome as the five tracks on the EP are outstanding and they bristle with the same kind of energy that a lightning storm generates.
Each track feels like one part of a complex personality and Heather Elle calls them “misfit singles” and “provocative ideas of identity and connection in an isolated and unhinged technocratic society” and maybe this is why there is a push and pull between the analog and digital; between the punch of the bass and the propulsion of the synthesiser. I see the tracks as distinct personalities; characters that lurk on the periphery of life, wary of it but not afraid to enjoy it any less. ‘Switch’ walks the city streets late at night looking for a dive bar to get lost in and ‘On Read’ has the jagged paranoia of leaving someone, or being left, ‘on read’ (slang for when a recipient has read, but not responded to, a sender’s message). ‘Add To Cart’ is a dark after-the-after-party-club track, ‘Psychosis’ is a Red Bull and caffeine high and final track ‘TRAP’ is a mountain-top howl which demonstrates what a powerhouse of a voice Heather Elle has, with Siouxse-swagger and the fierce heat of oxy acetylene burning through a steel plate backing.
The Queen of the Mall EP is the person at a house party who bursts onto the dancefloor with the kind of dance-like-no-one’s-there abandon, and the fact that these five songs drive dangerously close to the cliff edge makes it all the more exhilarating. It’s no surprise that as Heather Elle’s main instrument is bass, there is a grounded feel to EP. It is of the earth in the most glorious pulsating, crawling and subterranean way. Let’s hope this is the first of many solo projects from Flossing.
Review by Paul F Cook