Exclusive Track Premiere: ‘Blind,’ SLO

London-based electro-pop musician Jess Mills takes pride in her identity as a songwriter. Her short but sweet social media bios don’t say that she makes music, but rather that she “write[s] songs, for [herself] and others too.” Her choice to emphasize the written aspect of her career is fitting, seeing as Mills has penned lyrical tales not only for herself, but also for fellow electronic artists such as Gorgon City and Joe Goddard. As a seasoned storyteller, then, it comes as no surprise that she is able to poignantly express pain in the lyrics of her new single “Blind.” The track, which we are pleased to premiere below, is off of her forthcoming EP Atone, which Mills will self-release on September 9 under the pseudonym SLO.

While “Blind” is relatable to anyone who has experienced the damaging dissolution of a messy relationship, Mills tells us the song is specifically about “the web of destruction you can weave around you when you’re being deeply dishonest with yourself” and “the brutal realization that you can’t protect the one you love from it anymore.” Those sentiments are the makings of a deliciously dark electro-pop track. Among the phrases repeated by Mills, between breathy sighs, are “it’s killing me,” “sweet suicide,” and “I am telling lies / You must be blind.” Dismal as this may sound, the darkness in “Blind” is a beautiful kind—one that ultimately feels full of wonder and light.

Mills collaborated with Karen Poole and Henry Binns of Zero 7 on the track’s production. Musician Brad Ellis implemented finishing touches, making it a “group effort by all of my favorites,” Mills says. The track’s tone is reminiscent of Florence + The Machine or Angel Olsen, and the latter served as inspiration during its creation. “Blind” leans more heavily on “pop” than “electro” in comparison to SLO’s previous EP: “I guess my music has a subtlety to it, but I also love writing pop songs—I think that is a little more evident in ‘Blind.'” “Blind” is more direct and slightly more high-powered than Mills’ previous work, and suggests the beginnings of SLO’s mature and defining evolution.