Photo: Nico Smith

Ellie Bleach despairs with a bitten tongue on the downcast balladry of “I Thought I Saw You Last Night”

It’s been five months since Ellie Bleach released her last single (the inspired baroque pop hit “He Bought Me Nikes”), and since then it sounds like she’s been put through a wringer of emotions, which brings us to today’s new single. She says:

“‘I Thought I Saw You Last Night’ is about watching a former lover move on when they’re still at the forefront of your mind. I found out someone I was once involved with had a new girlfriend and kept fantasising about crashing their future wedding. There are parts of people that stay with you years after the relationship has finished, like hearing their favourite song play in a bar.”

On “I Thought I Saw You Last Night”, Bleach’s voice is that bit grittier and wearier of the world’s bullshit than she has captured before. Over sprightly keys, a bustling and bobbing rhythm section, and glimmers of what sound like sequins catching the light on a dancefloor, Bleach captures the triggering effect of associative detail of a past partner. “I thought I saw you last night / Outside a dive bar / They were playing that Billy Joel song you like,” she spouts in the chorus.

The unfinished business comes to the forefront of her mind, and “I Thought I Saw You Last Night” fuses together a bitten tongue distaste of someone moving on from you while also paying homage to the more downcast balladry of the likes of ABBA. “I never thought a major chord could make me want to die,” she despairs in the chorus, and the anguish carries through to the listeners, even though the sentiment is surrounded by the upbeat shimmer of the music. Bleach’s attention to detail is fine-tuned as ever, and her composition is equally as vibrant and bright as we’ve come to expect from her catalogue of fine singles.

With more brilliance sure to follow, catch Ellie Bleach on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.