The subject of the latest visual from ELM is a reality many queer teens have faced: gender expression confined to their bedrooms, shrouded in secrecy, and—for fear of being too literal—hidden behind closed doors.
The Dublin group are following up their debut single with “Paris,” a technicolor pop track inspired by the 1990 documentary Paris Is Burning. The doc is about the drag scene in New York City. On “Paris,” rapid cello runs and sunny production provide the backdrop for a young, male-presenting person who, in the privacy of their bedroom does ballet, applies lipstick, and paints their nails bright blue. The child is intercut with ELM’s lead singer Dylan Walsh, dressed identically, already wearing the lipstick. The transition between the two characters provides a context into what Walsh’s own young life might have been like.
Of the track, Walsh says: “Knowing the importance of acceptance, whether it’s in person, on a silver screen or through a set of headphones, we wrote 'Paris' after watching the documentary 'Paris Is Burning' as an ode to the people who played a role in saving us and as a lifeline to those who need to be reminded that everything will be okay.”