I found out about the band Ellen and the Escapades while browsing randomly on Youtube. The second I heard this unique voice, so sweet and soothing, I knew I was hooked. I ordered their Ep "Of all the times" a few weeks ago and when it finally arrived, I was happy to listen to the four gems Ellen and the Escapades had recorded.
The Ep opens with Preying on your mind, a catchy mid-tempo folk song. Unmistakenly, this is Ellen Smith's voice that shines through the track (and the entire record). Authentic and warm, this voice is so inviting and captivating that the listener may lose track of time. Ellen talks about her doubts and the inability to express her feelings but performing with a band must have been an efficient cure as she sings in such a convincing way, nicely backed with a gentle lead guitar and some hopping drums.
Then, This ace I've burned sounds nostalgic and almost remorseful. This track is heavily influenced by Bob Dylan as evidenced by the harmonica solo that Ellen breaks into, just like Dylan would have played in the 60's. Perhaps featuring the country folk sound of the band at its purest, This ace I've burned is the perfect jewellery box for Ellen's peaceful voice. However, the most stunning moment of the Ep happens on Yours to keep. Indeed, it first sees the band drifting away from his usual sound to play a very moody and bluesy track but this is Ellen who graces Yours to keep with her incredibly soulful voice.
With its fitting title, Coming Back Home starts as a quiet folk song that progressively gets a faster pace until this pulsating instrumental section. The band has the knack for playing simple yet appealing melodies which unexplicably provide this strange state of welfare. Ellen finishes this song a capella, letting her voice to be the last thing to be heard and which we are quite not ready to forget anytime soon.