If The Cranberries were Latin and likes bluesy pop
Independent self-released alt-pop-rock artist Elza launched her new album “Nothing’s Wrong” last week and it’s a strong mix of rock infused catchy melodies alongside emotional vocals and elements of late night electric piano thrown in for good measure.
Elza’s writing and music often sit in the sultry side of rock. Opening tracks “Moonlight and I” and “Endeavour” have floaty guitars, electric piano and catchy choruses to them. They wouldn’t be out of place on the radio, in a rock venue or an edgy blues bar. It’s this cocktail of genres and borrowing that gives Elza her sound. She is at her best when she’s either vulnerable or kicking ass and her single “Swayed” is a sleeper hit in waiting. It’s synths, guitars and the mildly unconventional vocal pitch cracks that characterise Elza’s voice all pushing forward together in a darker tone and with shifty eyes. The jazzy strings of “Hollow” mixed with arpeggiating synths make this track a standout too and remind me a little of Sarah Slean and Kadjha Bonet. “Simple Dreams” turns to the acoustic guitar to give a Mediterranean feel to her ballad.
The second half of the album is much less immediate and if I’m honest didn’t quite hook me in as much as the first half. The title track starts the movement towards an acoustic Cranberries style of music, with a more Latin influence rather than an Irish one. In principle, this sounds great but as the album holds onto the smooth bluesy jazz instrumentation and production it makes the rock element with the electric guitars piling in sound weak and thin. It troubles “The Room” and “Can’t Heal” although as songs they are growing on me with repeated listens, whilst slower tracks “Stay With Me” and the moody closer “One Day” makes less of an impact. If having rock sound a little thinner than the indie pop drums and vocals right up front approach to production though then I think you’ll find a lot to enjoy.
Elza is a curious oddity and her album “Nothing’s Wrong” will be a grower over time so if this sounds like its up your street stick another point on the score. It’s difficult being an indie artist with a more mainstream sound but Elza brings some strong tracks that whilst maybe not scratching my itch production wise, are ones to return to again and again.
Recommended track: Swayed
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