“The Elle King EP” by Elle King

Lately, we have been used to the female crooner, but Elle King has something genuine to offer. Her tenderness comes through with honesty and her ability to piece together such a punch out of her pain. King has a way of drawing you straight to the middle where it’s all happening and she won’t let you go until she knows her point has cut through. Maybe it is just her hard- hitting raspy vocals or her contrast of sweet and sour. Whatever it is, you just have to let it grab you to fully understand.

“Playing For Keeps” is not only the opener of the EP, but it is the booming pop song to summarize all of the let down. King has to get you caught up with what you missed so that you can dive right into this whole world knowing what’s been bugging King along the way. According to this track, “it’s a lonely road where the forgotten go, where your misery meets its company” and King doesn’t let it go there. She fills the sound with her bluesy angst of a voice and revolving drum bits for something quite catchy. After this song, you are all warmed up and immersed with the vibe that King intends to sway you through the EP.

The most delicate aspect of the EP is how intimate the listener feels with the songs. King might be able to cut through you, but her highest points are in fact with the softer tracks. When we hear her come back down to earth after she gets the chance to lose herself a bit in a pop song, it’s something of a rarity and a way to really feel the meaning of the pain. Not many people can make something cohesive out of both ranges. “Good To Be A Man” is the first song that gives us an insight to this concept.

King is understood in her sarcasm and her pain as “Good To Be A Man” lists off the characteristics that men take advantage of. The banjo that chimes through the misery gives us a sense of the tone that King is looking for after all of the bad. The melancholy layered with the fun, disturbs and really brings the listener to truly grow concerned for the unfair nature of everything. The whole EP really has a knack for getting you worked up with the ironic bright tones.

“No One Can Save You” is the other softer track on the album that ends off this whirlwind of perspectives. The song is a truly mellow take on a relationship. It’s as if King has just given in to putting the tension down to offer some insight. I’m not sure that ending the EP with hopelessness makes you feel better, but it seems right to end on civil grounds. It’s as if King is saying that everything is just hopeless, so I’m just going to let you know instead of burden you with anger. I think that’s fair. She let us in to share so much, so I guess we can just take some time for thought. King has given a truly diverse EP to take in.

By Lauren Moquin

If you liked this, check out:
“Former Lives” by Benjamin Gibbard
“3 Pears” by Dwight Yoakam

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