Little Mix reach new heights of pop perfection with 'Holiday'

24 July 2020, 15:57 | Updated: 24 July 2020, 16:00

By Sam Prance

Music doesn't get much better than this.

Little Mix never fail to make music exciting. Ever since Jade Thirlwall, Jesy Nelson, Perrie Edwards and Leigh-Anne Pinnock were put together on the X Factor in 2011, they’ve done pop better than almost anyone else. Vocals? Choreography? Stage presence? They’ve got it all and they’ve put out the hits to match.

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On top of that, they’re hilarious and there’s a tangible sense of magic whenever they’re in the same room (or zoom) as each other. Being a fan of them is a constant source of joy and entertainment. Watching them thrive as a foursome for almost a decade is vindicating.

Little Mix capture true holiday bliss in career highlight 'Holiday'
Little Mix capture true holiday bliss in career highlight 'Holiday'. Picture: RCA Records UK

Something went wrong with LM5 though. The album is arguably their best to date. Songs like ‘Wasabi’, ‘Forget You Not’ and ‘Monster In Me’ all could have been hits. However, the group went through a label change before dropping the project and they weren’t able to promote it in the way that they initially intended. Music videos were shelved, singles weren’t given time to shine and Little Mix lost some of their airtight grip on the charts.

The record still sold incredibly well by today’s industry standards (over 228,000 copies in the UK alone), and the tour was a triumph, but it was frustrating to see LM5 not live up to its full potential as an era. #JusticeForWasabi forever and always.

What do you do following a dip in commercial success? Well, in the case of Little Mix, the answer is simple. You release songs that are so good that you can’t ignore them. ‘Break Up Song’ made clear that Little Mix aren’t messing around this campaign (an infectious, synth-led bop brimming with emotion) and ‘Holiday’ somehow builds on that excellence.

Written by Jade, Leigh-Anne, Perrie and Little Mix’s honorary fifth member, Kamille, ‘Holiday’ is 3 minutes and 33 seconds of true pop bliss. The single is about being with someone who is so amazing that being with them literally feels like a holiday both physically and physically. ‘We’re just dancing the night away’ is lowkey the most charming metaphor for sex ever.

‘Holiday’ is also a lesson in how to structure a perfect pop song. It builds with hook after hook and every part offers you something new.

As soon as Jesy starts singing, her voice sets the tone for the entire song. It's both demure and dynamic. Leigh-Anne follows by bringing the pre-chorus to life with a glistening vocal before the beat switches and Jade kicks in with the coolest chorus of Little Mix’s career. The song then erupts into a second chorus sung by Perrie and her delivery of ‘So I’mma let go...’ is so euphoric that it’s impossible not to get swept away in the joy of the song with her.

Little Mix don’t stop there either. 'Holiday' is embellished with an abundance of additional sonic gems. Jade sings the second verse with extra harmonies from the girls, Leigh-Anne adds her trademark growl to the second pre-chorus and Jesy’s middle eight is nothing short of transcendent. There are also multiple ad-libs and layered vocals throughout the song which take ‘Holiday’ to a whole new level of brilliance.

Ever since Little Mix first got together, they’ve been unfairly lambasted with sexist criticism time and time again. People want them to be mindful of their young audience and release content that’s age-appropriate for their fans but people also want them to release more mature music that’s relevant to who they are as women in their late 20s. It’s a double-edged sword and it’s nigh impossible to do both.

And yet, with ‘Holiday’, Little Mix manage to do just that. The song is grown and understated without losing any of Little Mix’s signature fun. The lyrics are about sex but the metaphors keep it from being too explicit for children with concerned parents. The way that the, ‘We’re taking it slow, whenever, wherever, we’re lasting forever, my baby’ lyric, applies to both great sex and a great relationship is genius.

It remains to be seen exactly how ‘Holiday’ will fare on the charts. However, if there’s any justice, it will be an international hit. The single has the air of an instant pop classic. You may not be able to go on holiday this year due to lockdown restrictions but ‘Holiday’ transports you to your own personal paradise and it’s just a stream away.

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