Elsiane have been making music for many years but I joined them with their previous album so I was delighted when the duo released their latest album “Death of the Artist” this year. Their mix of ethereal symphonic pop and Caplette’s unique baby war cry vocals create one of the best albums of 2017 to date.
For previous fans, little has changed and that’s a good thing. From opener “Motive” we get lush string arrangements over chilled dubs and plenty of room to let the unique voice breathe. For those whom haven’t heard Elsiane before – I think the term unique is so over used and when it comes to voices there’s few that truly earn that genuine word of praise. Elsieanne Caplette is certainly one of them. Her balance of baby like innocence with a squeal and shout is perhaps akin to a more laid back Bjork. However Stephane Sotto, the percussive side of the duo certainly keeps his end of the bargain up but creating dark grooves and plenty of sounds to match the worldly views of Caplette. “Unstable” shows it perfectly as voice, pan pipe, drums and tuned percussion roll in and out the middle section.
A worldly view (from Canada) is what the album brings beside its keyboard, drum and vocal standard set. Lush guitars make the waltzing beauty of “Back to the Source” more elegant, whereas the oboe makes “Fragilidad” kooky, b-movie like and a Tim Burton end credits track. “Nobody Will Escape” is from a multimedia novel and it channels that stalker-like film noir vibe perfectly. It’s dank, dark and damp – exactly how I like it.
The final third of the album is a little more experimental. “Beginning of the End” is a vocal collage of chants, sighs and reverb vocal ticks warping around more like a vocal gymnast. There’s music too and it feels apocalyptic and animalistic. “Ascend” is a heartbreaking synth piece crossed with radio chatter and it feels like an epilogue for the post death as it takes place straight after the titanic title track. “Death of an Artist” is spectacular. It shows everything that band does well and it makes it their own. It’s rivalled by the closing track “Space Between Us” which is emotionally charged and devastating.
Elsiane have made their best album to date. It’s deep, dark and full of wonderful layers. I can only hope it opens the duo up to a wider audience whom will appreciate their music because they have all the hallmarks of an undiscovered gem that will go big 25 years later because of just how talented and unique they are. Superb – make this your blind purchase of 2017.
Recommended Track : Space Between Us