It’s been over 3 years since Little Boots released her debut LP but that hardly means she hasn’t been keeping busy. Since 2009’s, Hands, she has released the EP Illuminations as well as two mix-tapes of additional material. All while keeping herself occupied DJing around the world. Her sophomore LP Nocturnes is a direct correlation of where her hard work has moved her forward as an artist. Little Boots aka Victoria Hesketh has taken the best parts of her debut; shimmering production and lean songwriting and put them at the forefront to create an album that feels both more focused and wider in scale. It is a decided departure from the, at times too-sweet-to-digest pop of Hands, the production here has much more of a live disco feel that swaggers throughout thanks in large part to spectacular production from DFA co-founder Tim Goldsworthy. Her prowess as a songwriter and multi-instrumentalist is without doubt but with this release she has also proven that she can select a concise group of songs to form an album rather than just a collection of tracks. LB has always had a knack for creating spectacular hooks and Nocturnes is no different. “Crescendo” is a perfect example of turning interpersonal turmoil into towering dance music. Simian Mobile Disco’s James Ford-produced “Shake” is a shimmering house track that would not be lost on any dance floor. Meanwhile, “Strangers” is a slow-burner that suddenly becomes one of the most infectious songs of the entire album. While Nocturnes is a huge step forward from Hands, it is not without flaws; though they are few and far between. “All For You” meanders dimly behind a busy beat while the closer “Satellites” just has too much going on for its own good and is lacking the emotional depth that much of the previous songs leaned on so heavily. It’s clear that Hesketh has a very specific direction and is moving that way. Nocturnes is the sound of an artist exploring her borders and coming to grips with certain limitations; while it might not be a grand slam, it is a fantastically entertaining record with many more hits than misses.