Thursday, 29 August 2019

'...' by: ELLE

ELLE's '...' aka 'Ellipsis'
Year: 2019
For fans ofBeau Navire, Loma Prieta, ReveriesØnje and Closer.

Review by Amy Christine:

Since their first release, I have been captivated by ELLE’s ability to write beautifully heart-wrenching melodies. A warm welcome in a genre known for its barreling speed, dissonant technicality, and devastating vocals. Their newest full length, '... Ellipsis' not only builds upon the strengths of their last two releases but has a unique feel that I cannot get enough of.

By unique I am referring to how this album fills me with a mixture of both existential melancholy and hope that things can improve. These contrasting states of mind are rare to capture, and while the genre has existential dread in spades, hope is harder to find. I find the cognitive dissonance associated with resolving these feelings fascinating and I gain new perspectives with every listen. Though you didn’t come here for a psychology lecture, you came here for the music!

What really got me excited me about this release was when the band released their second teaser song, “Throes”, which opens with a moody, atmospheric bass line accompanied by bittersweet guitar melodies and gentle drum fills. This eventually leads into a desperate plea to unite and rise against this dysfunctional sociopolitical climate we find ourselves in, which only becomes more intense and unwavering until the song’s end:

“Scream until every bone in your body aches.
Together now, a million voices. We are more than nothing.
We are all that ever was and will be.”

A highlight of this album for me is "Dust". It starts quiet, introspective, then gradually gains tempo, becoming more restless until it reaches the bridge where everything stops, giving the listener a chance to breathe until you’re hit with the lyrics, “Dreams in the center of a zero / Engulfed in the nothing we created.” It reminds me of my own existential dread regarding decisions I’ve made or have yet to make, and while that may seem overwhelming, I think the album does a fantastic job balancing these feelings of dread with alternatives.

And look no further than "Shimmer". A love song? On a screamo record? Yes please. Though it doesn’t come across as cheesy, syrupy, or overly sentimental, instead it captures that profound feeling that presents itself when you care about someone so deeply. It makes me want to hug my loved ones honestly.

Overall it seems like the band has really found their stride with this release, and the themes presented within are certainly needed today, where community, love, hope, emotional vulnerability can take out the sting out of loneliness, anxiety, depression. While we cannot and should not deny these emotions, we can be open to the possibility that we are not alone, and together we can find moments of acceptance and inspiration.

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(2019) ELLE - "Dust" (from '...')

(2019) ELLE - "Wound" (from '...')

(2019) ELLE - "Daggers" (from '...')

(2019) ELLE - "Dust" live @ZBR Fest

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