But the self-imposed hiatus ended last night, when the band put out a new single*, Let Me Down Gently. "Let me in for a minute / You're not my life but I want you in it," sings Ellie over a sparse, sustained organ chord. Then, after a slow burning two-and-a-half-minute intro, a dramatic pause ushers in a second half full of undulating synths and a strangled saxophone solo.
It's all beautifully produced, and (almost) worth the wait. But does La Roux still have a fanbase after all this time?
I had a look on Twitter for reactions to the song, but almost every post was a music blog saying "La Roux are back" (natch). The rest of the comments fell into one of five distinct categories:
1) The delighted
That was so worth the wait. @larouxofficial you beauty.— Gorjan Markovski (@Doobydum) May 13, 2014
2) The disdainful
Who authorised the return of La Roux? This is awful. What next, new material from The Ting Tings? An arena tour from Natasha Bedingfield?— IncrediblyRich (@IncrediblyRich) May 13, 2014
3) The analytical
That is quite a ruddy big gap in the new La Roux song isn't it. pic.twitter.com/n0GBuK4tzb— Stefan (@stefanatical) May 13, 2014
4) The confused
‘La Roux is back’ or ‘La Roux are back’? I’ve seen both.— Sentric Music (@SentricMusic) May 13, 2014
5) The French
Whichever camp you fall into, the song is available on iTunes today - with a new album Trouble In Paradise (nine tracks, suggesting a work rate of one song every seven months) on its way in July.
And here it is. Well done if you scrolled this far.
* Update: Apparently it's not a single but a "taster track" whatever that means.