English singer songwriter Ella Squirrell has a voice to eclipse reality, a presence to lift the listener away from a grey day into a melodic and emotionally coloured oasis. As proven by her new EP Loop, the lady also has a lyrical gift and musically creative craft to back up her transfixing tones. She is beginning to stir up a healthy buzz within the British music scene and it is easy to see why with the unveiling of her four-track release.
With a her father a professional musician in a folk band trio and her mother a poet, maybe it is no surprise she has emerged with similar gifts and combined them in her own creative adventures. Hailing from Bridport in Dorset, Ella explored instruments and music from an early age, starting with the Irish penny whistle and folk songs at the age of 10 and moving on to the guitar a year later. Her own songwriting began when she was around 15 with a fusion of folk and pop emerging. Ella cannot read or write music but conjures them in her head and as her bio says, “teases them out into reality.” However it works, the songs making up Loop simply captivate from start to finish with a purely organic seduction.
The release opens with new single Quiet Fire, a romance on the ear which from its first kiss of keys just enchants. A slow reflective start is barely seconds in before eager beats and the voice of Ella open up a lively shuffle within ears and imagination. There is smokiness to her voice as it wraps flirtatiously around the song’s rhythmic stroll and tender melodic caresses, a Sade meets Skye Edwards (Morcheeba) feel to her mesmeric tones which simply smoulders against the lively swing of the song. It is one of those encounters which follow you around after just the first hearing, persistently nagging away in thoughts with its magnetic lures and an infectious tenacity loaded with sound of the summer potential.
The bewitching start to Loop continues with its title track, keys straight away enticing the senses with reserved but funk kissed alluring whilst melodies cast a folk pop proposal supported by the jazzy flicker of brass. As in its predecessor, backing harmonies add to the temptation as they slip in and out of the surrounding atmosphere. It is sheer captivation, another slice of virulent pop drama matched swiftly by the emotive balladry of Trust Is A White Dove. Piano and voice transfix again, hugging ears and thoughts alone for the opening croon before the song expands its elegance and persuasion with melancholic strings and a shadow delving bass tone to be lustful over.
In three bright slithers of beauty, the songwriting of Ella reveals its adeptness at variety, an equally feisty trait in the closing Trouble. Arguably the most folk lined song on the release, it is also a bold flight of electro pop and jazz sparked imagination. It sways and coaxes with physical and emotional temptation, like a flame licking ears with melodic vivacity as it takes thoughts on a fascinating amble of varied textures and boisterous creative dexterity.
The song is a gorgeous end to a simply spellbinding proposition and an introduction to an artist you can only anticipate major recognition and hopefully in turn big success for. Right now though, Ella Squirrell has provided one delicious aural kiss.
The Loop EP is out now via Gospel Oak Records at https://itunes.apple.com/gb/album/loop-ep/id981163074
27th May2015 The Jam House, Birmingham (The Launch Pad – a regular showcase of some of artists that the Jam House considers “ones to watch”.)
4th July 2015 Big Mix Music Festival, Lyme Regis (The Big Mix is Lyme’s own youth music festival by the sea)
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