“Oh, I know that I said you’re trash/But just in case my plane should crash, I take it back,” Eloise admits on track seven of her new album “Drunk on a Flight.” The London-based singer-songwriter explores her identity crisis after breaking out of a long-term relationship on her second studio album.
The London-based singer-songwriter broke into popular music by singing Bruno Major and Billie Eilish covers on Instagram. While both stars publicly celebrated her talent, Major pursued and produced Eloise’s first two projects, including her debut album “Somewhere In-Between.”
Eloise works with upcoming pop producer Conor Albert on “Drunk on a Flight.” Albert eases Eloise fans into the album with Major’s acoustic blend but slowly builds Eloise into a relaxed pop star by the end. The track order is essential to the story she tells.
Unpacking her baggage
Eloise sings the album’s prologue over muted percussion and wades through her conflicting feelings. The rest of the album follows the confusing process of moving on after a relationship ends.
On the second track, she surrenders to circumstance, “Who cares whether/We were wrong or we were right?” And on the third track she confesses, “Cause no matter what you do/I will forgive you.” Each lyric delegates responsibility, but she’s quick to blame herself.
The fifth track, “Friends Who Kiss,” categorizes her former relationship as not romantic. The switch allows her to explore other reasons why the relationship ended. She whispers her final words on an unresolved chord causing immediate tension to be released on the next track, “Therapist.”
“Therapist” turns the seatbelt light off. Ditching the acoustic for an electric guitar and the muted percussion for a drum kit, Eloise explains all the ways her ex exploited the relationship.
She hesitates to lay all responsibility on her ex, so the next track is called “I Take It Back.” That hesitation demonstrates Eloise’s songwriting gift. She’s able to manage complex emotions in simple terms over fun beats.
“In Another Year” illustrates the battle for identity. She wants the relationship to continue, but it prevents her from exploring life the way she wants to. The song builds to her decision “I’m more than terrified/To not have you to show me to the world outside,” before concluding that her future is brighter without them.
The final two tracks reflect and evaluate how she’s feeling now. “Giant Feelings” is her last chance to get all her anger out for how she was mistreated. “Tired Now” cheekily summarizes the album with “When it’s all said and done, God we had fun/But I’m tired now.” The plane lands with a new Eloise. She’s processed everything and is ready to move on.
Charting a new course
In popular music, t’s rare to find production matching deeply personal lyrics; personal may translate to a slow ballad. Thanks to Bryson Tiller in 2013, “Trapsoul” has replaced classical R&B. Eloise borrows that sound from “Vanilla Tobacco,” but immediately follows it with another confessional ballad. Contemporary R&B remains emotionally driven, but its content relies less on love and more on toxicity.
“Drunk on a Flight” represents the next step in returning popular music to love. Between “ICU” by “Bel-Air” actress Coco Jones debuting on Billboard’s Hot 100 chart and jazz vocalist Samara Joy winning Best New Artist at the 65th Grammy Awards, music is shifting to its next chapter. Eloise is carving her path in this next phase.