Two years ago Loïc Nottet won an army of fans with his Eurovision single Rhythm Inside. Having already gained fame on his home turf, Belgium, thanks to an appearance on The Voice, the world watched in awe as the compelling performer not only showcased his distinctive, Sia-esque vocal, but also his flawless dance moves. With the song finishing fourth, Nottet released a truly impressive music video and then all but disappeared aside from a show-stopping appearance on Danse Avec Les Stars, which he won. Fast forward to the close of 2016 and those who had not been awe-struck by his Eurovision brilliance were captivated when he released the truly amazing Million Eyes. Marked out by many a critic as one to watch in 2017, the real test starts now as he embarks on a full European tour and releases his debut album, Selfocracy.
Having co-written the album, Selfocracy does not feel the need to look back on Rhythm Inside, instead opting to pick up where Million Eyes started out. The collection is cleverly titled as Nottet explores not only his place in the world, but rather the way in which the world around us has become far too self-obsessed and self-driven. An ambitious album both thematically and musically, Nottet more than rises to the challenge he sets himself and delivers what is easily the most impressive debut album we have heard in the last few years.
The opening monologue is an intelligent introduction to the overall theme, telling how his mother had warned him to not stare for too long at his own reflection so as not to lose himself in the mirror. The opening monologue propels the listener into the electronic pop of Mud Blood, which is a deceptive introduction into a dramatic album that is full of bombast.
While comparisons to the equally insightful Lorde, Troye Sivan and Sia are somewhat inevitable for Belgium’s breakout star, there is something so unique about his talent that the comparisons really are without need. While Mud Blood has huge hit written all over it, the more raw more moments that see him shine the brightest.
While Mirror and Team8 fall neatly into the radio demands that will be placed upon a young artist, it is on the more experimental Wolves and intimate Whisperers that Nottet sets himself apart from his contemporaries. However it is with the epic Poison that he shows the true depth on his ingenuity as an artist. Unconventional and ambitious this is a strong contender for song of the year.
Nottet may have made his Eurovision fans wait for his debut album, but the long wait was more than worthwhile. This is a stunning body of work that will stay at the forefront of your collection for years to come.