Zara Larsson – ‘Ruin My Life’ (Sleigh Remix)
I’ll readily admit that preparing for Zara Larsson’s return in October caused a fair chunk of trepidation on my part. Whilst she’d clearly proved her viability and skill as a popstar on various stages of her international debut cycle, the resulting album So Good seemed to be doing a bit too much to make her into something that she wasn’t – Rihanna, basically – and fell a bit face-first in the process. Only the conveniently-timed Clean Bandit team-up ‘Symphony’ got her into the top 40 in 2017 on its way to ending the horrible reign of ‘Shape Of You’ once and for all, and things have been rather quiet since.
Anyway, fast forward to last Monday and things finally clicked between me and her comeback track ‘Ruin My Life’ in no small part thanks to hearing her one-take the rousing, sparkly spectacle in Elstree filming for Tuesday’s Top Of The Pops Christmas special. Following what seems to be another case of excessive exposure to daytime Radio 1 eventually winning me over on a pop record that I’d dismissed on both first and second glances, if you happen to stick BBC One on during your festive lunch and look over to her drummer, there’s a good chance you’ll see this idiot gleefully singing along with every word, swaying gleefully in awe at her vocal ability, and just experiencing a lot of plain and simple joy, albeit within the range of half a dozen giant cameras.
Whether that wintery performance was of this frankly incredible new edit of the track is something I can unfortunately neither confirm nor deny, but result from the studio is easily the half-arsed non-Christmas Christmas banger I’ve been dearly craving since finding the Vengaboys one when compiling our Christmas edition of The Official Bop 40. Let’s be absolutely clear here: this is literally just the original track with bells on each beat of the choruses and a 10-second ‘Jingle Bells’ interpolation on the middle 8. As silly as that may seem, and is, somehow it’s everything I never knew I needed.