By: Steve Habibi Kelk
If you close your eyes and listen to Ellie Belle’s EP Floating you will find yourself transported into the world of a view of life and love that is part search for meaning and part commentary – all in a captivating and dulcet voice that belies her tender years. The EP was launched at the Happy Yess in March of this year.
The first thing that strikes this writer is the maturity of Ellie’s songwriting, both musically and lyrically. With a full backing band, the EP has the texture of a much more experienced (and better funded) original songwriter and performer and we have no doubt that this is where this young lady is headed. Ellie has a knack with getting her point across in her lyrics subtly, but with conviction. She has already mastered the art of matching the music to her message and shows a diverse range in moving between the almost-somber to the deceptively whimsical.
Having watched Ellie Belle perform several times now, it is obvious that she is starting to master the art of stage presence – effortlessly it seems, for she is truly naturally engaging to watch. It’s a quiet confidence that emanates from her – a humbleness and genuine gratefulness for her audience’s attention to her set. The obvious love and support from her parents at her earlier performances is something that no doubt only adds to her self-confidence and development as an artist. Oh and did we mention the cupcakes??
Ellie Belle sings in an enticing high vibrato, pleasantly lilting and almost hesitant at times, which gives a hint of vulnerability. It is quite sufficient to simply listen to Ellie Belle without ever having observed her performances to appreciate her style and talent, however in doing so, one is denying oneself of the full experience. Her voice and person will have you entranced – so by all means listen to her EP, but do go along and see her as well.
The four songs on her debut EP Floating range from the happy-go-lucky realisation of the power of facing your fears (title song Floating) through the more introspective Already; the haunting fait accompli of Letting Go to the whimsically intoned but subtly dissective Hairy Love, a dissertation on what love is (or isn’t) according to Ellie.
The production of Ellie’s EP is top notch and released independently – produced, engineered and mixed by Anna Laverty. The artwork is by Ellen Maire and Ellie herself had a hand in the design along with the incomparable Markus Dixon of No Culture Creative.
Ellie Belle is a recent Telstra Road to Discovery winner and we can see why. A more honest and ‘from-the-heart’ songwriter you will be hard pressed to find. That she can produce such introspection and tender narrative at such an early stage of her music career bodes well for her future and we foresee this artist making a significant impact on the scene nationally at least. Ellie is also hard-working, embarking on interstate tours in the recent past and also a spot at the world-renowned Wide Open Space desert festival outside of Alice Springs in May this year.
*Don’t forget to check out all our gig photos for Ellie’s Floating EP launch on our Facebook page.