Bristol based Canadian songwriter Elea Calvet delivers her gorgeous debut single, Lust, on 15th April and then rolls it out to the masses via a show at St John’s on The Wall in Bristol on 13th May. And why is that a big deal?
Well, in a world of high gloss and cynicism, fashion driven style over substance, it is refreshing to come across a songwriter who exudes real passion through her music. And if you think that truly emotive and heartfelt music can’t also be commercially viable, then this is an artist works at that ever-elusive counterpoint.
From a hushed and minimal start the song builds in sensual, slow burning dynamic, naturally gains momentum but never opts for anything other than a gentle yet purposeful sashay towards its final crescendo. And that is the charm of the song and the hallmark of Elea’s music, it never over plays its hand, never rushes the task before it, never panders to the obvious or the immediate. And even whilst building dramatic soundscapes, playing with sky-scraping highs, subtle, melancholic depths and subverting structural expectations, there is a restraint and a timeless grace running through the heart of the music.
I have often heard word such as diction and clarity discussed regarding Elea’s vocal style and whilst it does often sit cloaked in the surrounding music or swerve the obvious delivery that the commercial world might demand, to me it is the voice used as an instrument and done so to great effect. Music for me, vocals included, are all about emotion and evocation, the feeling and the thoughts it conjures and a song titled Lust should at least be free to play with the more abstract ideas of sensuality and ecstasy. That might change as more studio time and money becomes available to her, I just hope it doesn’t change too much.
And that is the overriding nature of Elea’s music, it connects not with the head but the heart, it deals not in direct communication but a dark, deep, intangible embrace, one that you experience within your very soul. It is elusive and evanescent yet ecstatic and emotionally universal, it awakes primal feelings and stirs basic longings.
But whilst it harbours all of these not so hidden depths, it remains accessible, of wide-ranging appeal and dare I say it…. commercially marketable. Imagine if this became the new way of making pop music?