Mark Elliott is quickly becoming the master of charming, effortless electro-pop. Since bursting onto the scene in April with his debut single Dead End Love Affair, the UK crooner has snowballed into many a music library with his minimalist take on nu-soul. His latest offering, China Doll, is more of the same from the singer-songwriter – and it’s certainly his best yet.
Fans of Jamie Woon will be quick to notice the influence in Elliott’s new single. China Doll is a flirtatious blend of jazz-infused pop music, encompassing elements of R&B, funk and electronica under Elliott’s sonic umbrella. Much like Woon, Elliott is a purveyor of the melody; China Doll showcases the artist’s lyrical capability, but the real winner is Elliott’s ear for a melody. Simultaneously, the track takes chords borrowed from traditional, established sounds, while managing to reimagine them in a manner that makes them seem new and unexplored. It’s a winning combination, and something that Elliott in particular does well. He’s a musical romantic with his eye on tomorrow.
“China Doll is about everything that goes unsaid at the very beginning of a relationship, and all the terrifying subtleties, ” he explains. “It’s kind of a slow-jam but with more insecurities – and less heavy breathing.”
The track is short, sweet and comes with plenty of snap. Mark Elliott knows exactly how to write a good piece of pop music, and China Doll is exactly that. Expect big things to come.
Words by Niall Flynn