EP Review: Elasea - 'Where I Belong'.

Right off the bat this EP rustled my jimmies. Auto-tune-like vocal processing is pretty commonplace across the entire musical spectrum these days. I don’t have an issue with auto-tune when it’s used subtly. Tweaking a bum note here or there isn’t a crime. There are few people who will consistently hit perfect note after perfect note. In a live setting if you hit a bum note, you press on like it didn’t happen.

A friend once told me that the only wrong note is a note without conviction. When it comes to recording you can either spend hours and hours trying to nail a perfect take, piece together bits of several good takes (which can sometimes leave vocal lines sounding like they don’t belong together), tweak out the bum notes, or a combination of all three. Subtlety, for me, is the key. I know auto-tune exists, but I prefer not to notice it.

Elasea's opening track of ‘Where I Belong’, ‘Glass Heart’ has the sorest of auto-tune thumbs sticking out. During the pre-chorus section of the song there is a held note that’s bent upwards in a way that sounds like spinning up vinyl from 33 to 45. It’s a shame because without this the use of auto-tune throughout the EP would probably be far less noticeable. As a song – rather than a discussion in production techniques – ‘Glass Heart’ is noteworthy. It’s full of Alt-Rock/Pop fun to get your foot tapping. With its tried and tested structure, this song is far from ground-breaking, but there are layers of melody, well-written lyrics, and exciting beats to keep it interesting.

The second track, ‘Where I Belong’, transports you back to the heyday of pop-punk. A feeling that echoes through ‘Lost in the Dark’, although leaning more to Alt-Rock like that of Deaf Havana’s ‘Fools and Worthless Liars’ album. ‘Time is Against Us’ is a blinder, kicking down the door to stand calmly in the hallway to make sure you’re awake before building to a big pounding chorus. The vocals are more aggressive than those before it.

Bringing the EP to a mellow close, ‘On the Line’ reminds me of any number of soft ballads Alt/Rock/Punk bands like to throw into a recording to show their gentle side. This is not a bad thing. Elasea finish with what is both a great song and also cohesive with the rest of the EP.
In conclusion, if you can get past the flaws in the production, this band from Hungerford have delivered something well worth listening to. I’m definitely interested to see what their live show delivers.

Words of Samuel Hylands.

Where I Belong was released 03/08/15 and is available via Elasea’s Bandcamp.   

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