Ellen & The Escapades
ALL THE CROOKED SENSES
BRANCH OUT RECORDS 16.4.12
I’m biased I know - but I wanted to support this band as soon I’d read the press release – the moment when it informs me they’re from Leeds – I also liked the name – have to admit that I’m a sucker for a bit of wanton use of alliteration.
There seems to be quite a buzz around this band’s folky-country debut - Ellen is actually vocalist Ellen Smith – and her sweet, sumptuous tones are ladled over each track like a delicious oral treacle with opener ‘Run’ easing us into proceedings with a mellow strum.
They do upbeat too though, as evidenced on the rollicking ‘Without You’ and the title track’s taught, frantic high speed strum. Lazy, woozy harmonica is infused with lilting acoustics on the elegant ‘This Ace I’ve Burned’ while ‘Preying on Your Mind’ is another fast-paced cracker. It’s very quickly becoming apparent that there don’t seem to be any duff tracks on this album at all.
The smouldering ‘Yours to Keep’ and the hymnal ‘Stone Bird’ bring the atmospherics back to the force of an authoritative whisper, before the set closes with the hypnotic, rhythmic ‘Cast’.
A dusky, beautiful vocal combined with exceptionally high quality original song-writing – and from Leeds, what more could you want from a band? I suggest you catch them live on their current tour of small venues now while you’ve still got the chance.