Eleni Drake, originally in Greece but very much a Londoner releases her second EP ‘Songs on Sunday’ this month. Her London RnB chilled out vibe is what shines through alongside her silky voice.
Across each of the six tracks, Eleni evokes Tash Sultana like beats and open guitar strums. These are paired up with a vintage electric piano and plenty of production tweaks to make the sound feel vintage or tape warmed. The result is something that feels rooted in modern-day RnB but with a nod to some of the early gospel jazz classics of Nina Simone or Ella Fitzgerald. Sections like the closing of ‘Velvet Mouth’ show this off beautifully as the instruments fade and are replaced by layers of Eleni’s voice instead.
Elsewhere ‘Trippy Tea’ is like listening to a jazz song through the phone, whilst ‘Untitled’ feels like a throwback to 90’s RnB pop. The latest single ‘4’ is much more pointed and modernised as the lyrics fly off the tongue but interestingly, the further away Eleni moves from the mashup of old and new, the less distinctive her sound becomes. Perhaps that’s because she is able to provide so many different versions of her voice across these six similarly instrumented tracks. The dissing talk-singing is good, but her jazzier sides are glorious.
‘Songs on Sunday’ is an interesting EP. As someone that doesn’t usually stray into RnB pop at all, I found this to be a great gateway EP to open my mind to more of the genre. Eleni Drake sits in the middle of an RnB pop, jazz and blues triangle and whilst that means she’ll lean into different parts in different songs – you’ll get a rounded and wholesome experience. Surprising.
Recommended track: Ceiling
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