Finding My Feet
Finding My Feet is available at:
5th March, 2016
AMONG a sea of eager songwriters, how does one…
find true gold and quality? It is an interesting question that is near-impossible to answer. There are a lot of great singer-songwriters emerging: that said; there are an awful lot of mediocre ones, too. One of the greatest joys about reviewing is unearthing a solo artist that sticks in the mind and causes smiles. Having discovered Ellie Rose a few months ago- I shall go into more detail soon- I am glad to say she is back in force. Thinking about her has led me to reflect on female songwriters coming through; the most personable and likeable artists; the importance of slow revelation (I shall expand on that when I get there). I have always maintained you get more quality and originality from the female solo artists on the scene- compared with their male counterparts. I have wracked my brains trying to find an answer- maybe there is no answer- but there seems to be more ambition and originality. The guys have passion and originality but it is the girls who are leading the charge. If you take the vocals on their own: the female solo artists possess more depth, nuance and urgency. It is the compositions and lyrics (when looking at female songwriters) that is the most telling difference. Having reviewed a lot of male songwriters; I am noticing the same thing occurring: the lyrics tend to stick too closely to predictable avenues. There are exceptions to be found, but by and large, there is an over-reliance on love and relationship dramas. Whilst most songwriters assess this subject, the guys are showing less nimbleness and original intention. The language and phrasing (the girls use) are superior and deeper; the angles employed result in more fascinating and impressive tracks. Think about the compositions as well: When was the last time a solo act’s composition rooted itself in the mind? Well, when I review artists- and I discover a wonderful composition- most of the time it is the girls that produce it. Whether it is in the Pop milieu- or a hard-hitting Electro. mash-up- I wonder why the guys are not as strong. Maybe I am over-simplifying and missing the point- there are a lot of great male solo artists- but it is the female singer-songwriters that seem to resonate most with me. With that being said, I was glad to hear Ellie Rose was back with a new track. Before I explore my next topics- regarding revelation and personality- I wanted to talk about the featured artist.
On her official website- http://ellierose.co.uk/- there is not a lot of biographical information. Our heroine likes to keep things a bit secretive; preferring the music to do the talking. What I do know is that she (Ellie) is one of the most promising and bright songwriters we have in the U.K. In every performance- and everything she does- you hear endless passion, heart and commitment. While a lot of songwriters seem to lack that necessary drive and dedication: Ellie Rose suffers no such weakness; she always puts her everything into the music. In addition to a distinct love for pineapples- not sure what drove that love and addiction- and you have a songwriter with a lot of charm and personality. Whilst I shall have to ask her about the pineapple angle- never been much of a fan myself; not taste-wise anyway- it is the radiance and love Ellie Rose shows (on social media) that fascinates me. In a modern age- whereas an artist can hide behind a screen- you find some artists are rather faceless and indirect. Too many musicians cower behind digital platitudes and do not engage fully with their tribes. The only way to succeed in music- aside from having talent- is to win a fanbase and keep them hooked. An important way to retain membership is by utilising social media to the full: Connecting with the fans and ensuring you show appreciation and thanks. After reviewing some less-than-thankful artists- who couldn’t be bothered to toss off a quick ‘thank-you’- it is nice to see a young woman who really adores her fans. In addition to being jaw-dropping- an unimportant observation, but still…- Ellie Rose is among the friendliest and most appreciative musicians around. It may seem like a minor point (when considering a musician’s positives) but it is actually a big selling point. Ellie Rose is not an artist faking emotions and in music for money and fame. Every song reflects a moment in her life: the words mean more to her than you could possibly imagine. For that reason- and keen to have people follow her music- there is a lot of positive feedback heading her way. The connection she has with her fans is intoxicating and heartwarming. For that reason, you want to stick with her and follow her music career- just where it can lead her. I know she is going to be a big proposition because she does not give too much away. You know a few things instantly about Ellie Rose: That love of pineapples and a huge smile; a songwriter who adores what she does. When it comes to personal insight and revelations: It is the music itself that reveals that and allows the listener an insight into her psyche. Finding My Feet has just been unveiled and already been greeted with effusiveness and enormous praise. It will accrue a lot of plays across YouTube because it seems to speak to everyone: It is not just a personal song that pushes the listener away. I know how much the track means to Ellie Rose- clearly reflecting on a rather troubling time- and you can hear her soul and heart in every note- I shall go into more depth in the review. This year will be a banner one for the young songwriter: I can easily see an E.P. arrive that includes Finding My Feet. Whilst she is gigging at the moment- taking the music to eager crowds- I know there is a lot more to come from the young musician.
When looking at Finding My Feet it is worth looking back at Ellie Rose’s past body of work- seeing how she has developed and changed. I reviewed the track Speed Bump back in 2014. That track was part of a four-track E.P., Speed Bump/Memory Foam.
Speed Bump is a song that has gained traction and respect since its release. Ellie Rose performed it at Glastonbury (last year) and it hit the crowd hard. It is no surprise; consider the strengths of the song. Reflecting on the fact “Charmers are the dangerous ones”; you have a song that details the perils of bad romance. Looking at a particular (anti) hero, you have a song that reflects on a particular “speed bump”- an obstacle on the road for our heroine. While a lot of young songwriters- Ellie was just 17 when the E.P. came out- would show their emotions in immature terms and show little intelligence- here you have a song with maturity, depth and original lyrical angles. Not only does Speed Bump have original thoughts and quotable lyrics, but is has many other essential qualities. You have a hook-laden chorus and a beautiful vocal that demonstrates a wealth of emotions and feelings. The composition is rousing and sprite at times; it becomes more reflective and demure when called for. A confident and strong number from a songwriter with rare intuition and quality.
Memory Foam looks at the harshness of rejection and the indentations it creates- hence the title. No lesser number (to Speed Bump) it is a companion/sister track that shows another side to Ellie Rose. Its skippy and unique vocal- it is hard to compare Ellie Rose with too many other singers- brings the song to life and emphasises the emotions on display. The song’s subject- whether the same dog from Speed Bump– has turned down our heroine- made her feel rejected- and that hurt is hard to overlook. Like a memory foam mattress: These indentations are there when she sleeps; the uncomforting contours are causing pain and restlessness. Once more- and given her tender years- you have a surprisingly mature song that demonstrates what a fine lyricist (Ellie Rose is). You get story and native in the song- picnics on a Sunday; going through the motions to an extent- and false emotions. The boy pledges his love- saying they will grow old together- but that all changes come nighttime. The “graffiti” that is being left is indelible and harsh. Away from the raw images and emotions, you get comfort-at-home familiarity- drinking chocolate milk with her sister; doing handstands- that shows another dimension to the story. A songwriter that ably switches between grown-up heartache and wisdom: She can then go to girlish and vulnerable the next moment.
Off the Record was released a year ago and carries on where the E.P. Speed Bump/Memory Foam left off. The production seems a little crisper and more modern. Maybe a bit more polished- than on the previous E.P. – it augments the vocals and composition and ensures every moment lodges in the brain. You get more impressive lyrics and quotable lines coming through- our heroine being the “ice in your whiskey” for one- but new strengths and revelations. The lyrics look at a risqué and confidential love- being off the record and secretive- that shows more lust and passion than previous numbers- that have assessed heartbreak and recrimination. It shows Ellie Rose blossoming and discovering a new side to her whilst still keeping her cores intact- the strong soul and taking-no-bull**** approach. Perhaps more positive and hopeful- our heroine wants to be a parachute for her man- the entire song brims with sassiness, intention and memorability. The layered vocals are hugely effective- they stick in the brain and make you smile- while the composition is busy and pressing from first to last. Exquisite melodies and hooks are balanced by thought-provoking and quote-worthy lyrics from a songwriter who gets stronger by the release.
Finding My Feet perhaps returns to the themes of her previous E.P. Whilst Off the Record was a fully-charged and joyful Pop moment- recalling the finest cuts of the ‘80s- the latest track is more emotive and reflective. Ellie Rose is a fan of ‘80s music- impressive, given the fact she was born in the ‘90s- and Off the Record was a pure moment of ‘80s Pop/Dance- with a bit of contemporary magic in there. Finding My Feet is more modern-day and recalls modern chanteuses like Ellie Goulding, Sia and Adele. While a lot of modern female singers tend to parrot Adele, Amy Winehouse and Ellie Goulding: Ellie Rose keeps her voice her own and does not succumb to the worst traits of her contemporaries. Older fans will find similarities and pleasing consistency. You get that reliable Ellie Rose brand of integrity and reliably stunning lyrics. Showing heart, emotion and imagination: Another song that boasts an agile and intelligent musical mind. The vocal is at its most raw and impassioned whilst the composition is a tender and soft thing: One that gets into the heart and reveals its meanings over repeated listens. Given this rate of progress- and the consistency from someone so young- it is scary just how far she can go. After appearing at Glastonbury– showcasing her E.P. and what she is capable of- the young London-based singer is on a rise. A hypnotic and peerless artist that is sure to be a huge proposition very shortly.
New fans and older will find much to love about Ellie Rose’s latest song, Finding My Feet. You do not need to be an invested supporter to appreciate the song- it hits you impenitently. A delicate blend of finger-lick and acoustic guitar opens the track up. Romantic, contemplative and classical- you get a Hispanic and sun-drenched sound to the strings- spikes curiosity and gives the song instant urgency and meaning. In the early phases- when our heroine clicks her fingers and strums with purity- you are hard-pressed to compare the song/sound with anyone else. Perhaps there are undertones of Crowded House (their Woodface-era work can be detected in the strings) and a little of other artists, but to be honest, the abiding sound is of Ellie Rose. With senses and expectations primed, the first words hit you quite hard: “I’m in a million pieces”. It is a heartfelt and stark confession from a young woman who has suffered setback and heartbreak. Whether the song looks at a previous relationship- I believe Ellie Rose is in a happy relationship at the moment- or a hard time for her, that conviction and meaning burns with intensity. The boy has not picked up his phone- if he did, he’d hear the hurt in her voice- and the separation is causing stress and anxiety. In the instant phases; there is a slight vocal tweak- on the line “If you just picked up the phone”- that highlights the line and puts the vocal more to the fore. While the track is quite reflective and assiduous, the vocal has such force and soulfulness. Ellie Rose shows what a voice she has at her disposal. Years of heartache and discovery is usual behind such a voice: The fact she is still so young is an amazing thing. “God knows where you are” sings our heroine. It adds mystery to a song that keeps the listener guessing as to the origins and truths. One would instantly think the song was a tale of heartache and split- the two parties estranged and fractured- but there is more than meets the eye. It appears there is a “bad boy” at the heart of things that cannot be tamed. Maybe our heroine has relied on the boy/man before- against her better nature, perhaps- but this time, it has all gotten too much. In spite of the fact it is not the wisest move- and there are more honest men out there- she needed someone. That confession and standout thought- “I needed someone”- is highlighted and really pressed. It seems to be the mandate of the entire track: Needing comfort (if ill-advised) in the face of some uncertain times.
Backing herself on vocals- given the song a very contemporary flair- that drama and hurt are raised to the skies. You detect some hints of modern Pop favourites- Ellie Goulding’s sweetness; a little bit of Adele’s soul power- but the composition-and-lyrics combination is very much the result of Ellie Rose. Every note and line ooze emotion and honesty: This is not a songwriter that fakes anything or is making a song for the sheer hell of it. Reverb and multi-track vocals ensure Finding My Feet mixes dreaminess, etherealness and serenity together with drama and edginess. Perhaps a “curious fool” (her words, not mine) – for wanting to know- it seems like ignorance is bliss. Ellie Rose always mixes- in her songs and E.P. – maturity alongside humbleness; vulnerability with modesty. While the song shows that need for human connection and making unwise choices- needed given the circumstances surrounding them- there is also humility and understanding- our heroine admits when she has been foolish. Our girl is in hell- you believe those words more than anything- but is looking for that man. Where he is (she does not know) and where he sleeps tonight (God only knows). If you look at the accompanying video- which Ellie Rose is very proud of- the force of those emotions can be seen on her face. Near the point of tears; that confusion and sadness are palpable and striking: You cannot help but want to hug Ellie and ensure she is alright. Rosining strings and persistent beasts- finger clicks and more subtle snatches- give Finding My Feet a near-symphonic sensation. It is hard not to think of Kate Bush, on the one hand. In terms of composition, I recalled elements of The Dreaming (Bush’s 1982, if underrated, album): That same daydreaming, mystical beauty; the blend of vivaciousness and mood. Unlike Bush- who is more oblique and unconventional with her themes- the young heroine is much more direct and to-the-bone. Vocal laments and embracing compositions ensure the song stands up to endless plays- revealing new insights the more you investigate. That central chorus is particularly pertinent and direct: You find yourself singing along to it (however misjudged) the second and third times around. At the heart of it- and barring indiscretions and missteps aside- you must remember this: Ellie Rose is a young woman who is finding her way. A teenager that is still growing as a woman: Why be so harsh and judgmental when older/ (supposedly) wiser women are creating bigger folly? The crisp and impressive production allows the vocal to reign free and not be fevered by needless noise and compositional emphasis. The composition works well and perfectly backs/drives the vocal forward. Uniting ‘80s strands and sounds- the likes of Bush linger on- with 2016 mainstream sounds- Goulding and Adele- ensure the track hits a wide audience and campaigns to a large demographic. By the final notes- wordless and ghostly vocals pervade- you get that coda repeated: It takes a long time to a tame a bad boy; maybe he cannot be tamed. Ensuring those words remains long in the memory- and believe me, they do- our heroine is at her most insistent and determined.
It would be interesting to know what compelled the penning of Finding My Feet. There is clearly a particular man in mind- whether a past sweetheart or someone currently in her thoughts- and names is never revealed. That allows the listener to imagine and project their own images of the guy- we can all imagine the type. Perhaps the two had excitement and love to begin with: Things have turned a little and caused heartache and upset. The song keeps pressing questions about the man- where he is and where he is sleeping- and you find yourself invested in the song. Sympathy and empathy lie with Ellie Rose who shows such bravery and vulnerability throughout. The boy may be insentient- or misguided to an extent- but our heroine feels like she can tame him. We have all known someone who finds themselves confronted with mismatched love: Where one party is hardly approved but has the potential to be pure and ‘good’. Ellie Rose leaves some mystery and intrigue within Finding My Feet. It does take some time to tame a bad boy- for that who want to be tamed- but is this line meant positively or negatively? Maybe our girl is investing time in the hope he’ll change: Perhaps she knows that it may be futile in the end. Such an intriguing and curious track from a fertile young artist who always amazes me. Combining a gorgeous and emotive vocal with some wonderful lyrics- that inimitable blend or mature and open- is backed by cinematic sounds and assured production. I just know Finding My Feet will form the basis of (an upcoming) E.P. It would be a perfect lead-off track and sit nicely alongside similar-themed songs. To that end, Ellie Rose could bring Off the Record into the same set. In the space of those two songs- both different but spectacular- and you would have fans’ mouths wetted and hungry. This year will see the London-based wonder grow and build her reputation. Finding My Feet is a personal and stunning effort from a young woman finding her way and developing her voice- surely it will not be long until she ascends to the dizzying heights of mainstream glory.
Ellie Rose is back and has delivered her most personal and impressive cut. Finding My Feet finds instant beauty allied with nuanced composition notes: All of these elements infuse together and deliver a heady scent that trips the senses and makes everyone reflect on their own lives. Within Finding My Feet is truth and honesty: We can all extrapolate something from the song that portrays our own feelings. This is not just a personal song that negates the listeners’ feelings. Here is a track that seems oddly relevant to me (as it will be everyone) and strikes a chord. If our heroine is still finding her feet- and finding pressure is getting to her- she is surely not alone. Penning something with universal relevance means the fans will be more engaged: The song will hit harder and it will gain a lot of support. We are all in the same boat as Ellie Rose: She may feel alone at times yet her fans are all behind her. It is not a shrewd trick or cynical move: She has created a song that means more to her than any before. I am not sure whether relationship struggles or personal discovery has inspired her plight. Whatever the truth, you can be sure of this: She will find her way and get the answers she requires. Finding My Feet showcases a terrific voice whose pen prefers originality over trite clichés. You get depth and fragility in the lyrics: That all sits alongside redemptive hope and a lot of real maturity. Before concluding business, it is apropos to circle back to my original points- looking at female songwriters; personality in music and revelation over time. Ellie Rose is a young songwriter just starting out- although she has been performing for a long time- and has many more years ahead of her- she will be a mainstream act soon enough. I have never seen another artist as ready as our heroine. She seems ready-made for mainstream success and will be playing festivals in years to come. I have enjoyed what 2016 has had to offer: So many great songwriters coming through in the underground. While the guys have shown a lot of hunger and talent: It is the girls that are creating the biggest impressions to be fair. While I shall have to speculate another day- as to why this gap has come to be- it is terrific hearing the range of female singer-songwriters around. With every act, you get a new side and sound to discover: Whatever your taste, you are catered for. Ellie Rose has been inspired by her heroines but never wears her influences on her sleeve too obviously. You have a Pop artist that prefers originality and personality above tribute and sound-alike. With other artists pouring out their backstories and influences across social media: Ellie Rose is making sure the music says what it needs; she is not giving too much away too soon. Not only does her music- and particularly Finding My Feet– speak to the wider audience but it shows a talent that is improving with every release. I know how relevant Finding My Feet is to Ellie Rose: You can hear that passion and determination in every note. Within the music, you get some vulnerability and self-discovery: There is that need to find some truth and learn from mistakes of the past. If the music portrays some hard emotions and stress, it seems worlds away from the woman behind the songs. On social media, you have a bright and engaging woman who has a real connection with her fans. I hope that bond continues for years, as we have a stunning songwriter who can play on for many years. Whether there is an E.P. coming- or a series of songs- it will be fascinating to see what Ellie Rose can produce. If you are new to her music then make sure you dive into Finding My Feet. It is a great starting place for an artist who is developing her voice and staking her claim in the music world. Congratulations must go to Ellie Rose who has penned her most immediate and personal song to date. Its video is a dream-like vision- another facet she is very proud of- that does full justice to a memorable and emotional song. Having loved Ellie Rose’s previous songs- the immediacy of Speed Bump; the nuance of Off the Record– you have another side to a tremendous songwriter. Finding My Feet has already garnered a lot of fan praise and approval. Take a look at Twitter– Ellie Rose’s account- and you get consistencies within the praise: The strength of the vocals and lyrics; the mix of vulnerable and strong; the way the song speaks for everyone. It is hard to write music that has that type of effect- and connects with listeners so instantly- but that is what Ellie Rose can do. From each song, she manages to find new momentum and purpose. Given that rate of progress- and the fact she is so young still- would you bank against Ellie Rose…
BECOMING a household name in years to come?
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