Monday, December 4, 2017

EZLA - Outcasts (2017)


Written by Stephen Bailey, posted by blog admin

EZLA’s rising profile in the music world should grow exponentially as a result of her debut EP release Outcasts, a five song collection revealing her to be a complete stylist who has found total accord between her material and presentation. She’s been at this for a little while, as evidenced by her thirty thousand plus Spotify streams, so this shouldn’t be too much of a shock, but rarely does a young singer/songwriter offer herself up to the listening public with such dramatic vividness. She definitely assumes a darker songwriting mantle than what we are customarily used to in popular music, but performers like Lana Del Rey and moody electronica has paved the way for this sort of intensity finding favor in a musical style once singularly devoted to simply having a good time. EZLA isn’t about having a good time, per se – the music definitely has entertaining qualities, but EZLA’s main motive here is some old fashioned soul bearing reaching far beyond your typical good time music. 

She begins the release with its title song and first single. An abiding quality shared by each of the EP’s five song is focus – these are songs never extending over the four minute mark and are crafted with such uniform allegiance to not wasting a single word or note that they come off all the better for it. The lure of self-indulgence is particularly strong with young songwriter, especially those emboldened by the idea they have something important to say, but EZLA handles such inclinations in a highly artful way while still embracing a faint anthemic spirit with this number. The second number continues that mood. “Skeletons”, really, underlines the darker mood heard in the EP’s opener with strong melodic virtues and even stronger refrain. No need look no further than the song title to see that attitude persists across the entirety of the release.

She pulls back from it with the song “Satellites”. It’s the closest she comes to an all out love song and it’s to her credit she wreathes the song with a veneer of slightly panting desire rather than trite sentiments and overwrought invocations of undying love. The slightly dire point of view dominating much of her songwriting returns with the song “Hangman” and she once again distinguishes herself as a songwriter who arrives at those effects honestly rather than laying on a cartoonish vision of despair. This is a singer/songwriter who has obviously thrown her lot in with the wilder side of life and it results in a wholly believable songwriting clinic from a performer older than her years. The finale “Psycho Killers” shows that she is quite talented at entertaining the audience, albeit if you share her dark storytelling sense. This is a chaotic sounding tune that, nonetheless, has obvious structure and manages to incorporate all of the qualities that ground EZLA’s music in recognizable terrain. Melody is an important reason why Outcasts is such a resounding success because it makes more palatable a lyrical vision that certainly isn’t for any Pollyannas staring at the world through rose colored glasses. EZLA has arrived in a big way with this EP release.

No comments:

Post a Comment