Checking In With Ella Joy.
We first crossed paths with Ella Joy over a year ago when she basically blindsided us by conjuring a voice of such character it belied her youthful age. With little else other than actual witchcraft to explain her talent, after stunning a room into silence with her track Burn, we had a sneaking suspicion she’d make her way back onto our radar soon enough.
Fast-forward to present day and Ella Joy – obviously not one to rest on her laurels – is signed to imprint Cold Hill and about to drop her first EP Lucid Living.
“I’ve kind of pinpointed my sound as minimal electronic soul, but even then what is that?”
With a September 1st drop date scheduled, if this BTS footage is anything to go by it looks like there is a high production value music video winging our way too. After a little coercing and arm twisting Ella treated us to a sneak preview of the EP, suffice to say it did not disappoint.
Drawing comparison from the likes of Kelela, FKA Twigs, London Grammar, Glass Animals and Portishead, and after a recent collaboration with Warriors of the Dystotheque, the tone of Lucid Living is decidedly Electronica. Yet the sparse and glitchy nature of her backing tracks is formidable fertile ground, where a voice of such character can flourish.
Opening track Elizabeth is the perfect introduction to Ella’s signature sound where inspiration stemming from old soul vocals (Etta James) and new wave stylings (Sevdeliza) becomes apparent. The dreamlike soundscape of Home follows, further aiding the EP’s concept of “bringing lucidity to our waking state of being”.
Sonically, King is by far the busiest track of the 4-song EP, where soft keys combine effortlessly with minimalistic, echoing percussion. This is the track set to receive the visual treatment,and if the promo material is anything to go by, should be an AV feast.
I Need You is the EP’s closer and most experimental offering. It finds Ella Joy pushing her vocal range and transition to the upper echelons, a Siren-like quality fills her voice; if the listeners were sailors, we’d all be shipwrecked right about now.
Given the inherent calibre of her voice, Ella is an artist still very much in her formative years – granted she must have a couple of past lives under her belt (old soul, young vessel) – and bounding from strength to strength. If Lucid Living is a sign of things to come then when her full-length LP drops in the Spring of 2017, you’d do well to pay attention now.
Lucid Living launches 1st September 2016 on Cold Hill Records and will be available across a myriad of sources: iTunes, Spotify, Tidal, Rdio, Amazon Music, Beatport, Vevo, Bleep.
Feature image by Tudor Rusu Photography