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Elissa Mielke - Finally EP Music Album Reviews

Elissa Mielke - Finally EP Music Album Reviews
The Los Angeles-via-Toronto singer offers a finely wrought EP that showcases her oceanic voice and her austere songwriting.

In the summer of 2015, in the back of a tiny bar in Toronto, I heard Elissa Mielke sing for the first time. An opener for an opener, she stood before a crowd of perhaps 20 people and played three unadorned songs on an electric keyboard. It’s a testament to her voice—an immense ocean of an instrument, as complex in its sweetness as raw honey—that I still think of that performance six years later. The title of this EP, Finally, is apt.

The production on Finally is almost monastic. Apart from “Palace,” which includes just a gossamer wisp of a synthesizer, the only instruments on the record are Mielke’s piano and a guitar. It’s as though her accompaniment is nothing more than a dry riverbed for her astonishing voice to roll through. Any more intricate production would only get in the way, as it did on her 2015 EP, which she released as Mieke. She sounded just fine on that record, but nothing like she does on Finally: uncontainable, spilling out of herself, flooding cities.

“Kind of Thing” opens with a rolling piano to wipe clean Mielke’s romantic slate. “You’re the kind of thing I used to sing about,” she sings, dismissing someone intent on saving her from her “sinful way of living.” Prior knowledge of her catalogue and its break-up songs isn’t necessary; she wears her heart and her history on her sleeve. She sometimes blurs simple phrases—“It doesn’t, and it won’t, and I’m great”—into long, painterly smears, the impression of her feeling more powerful than the literal meaning of the words she’s singing. She delivers the next song, “Homesick,” like a bow drawing itself slowly across strings. Her voice is flowery and ornamental, but her lyrics couldn’t be more frank or direct: “I’m still angry, but I’m homesick for you.” Though her lyrics can stray to clichés—“God, these walls I built/Think they could cave”—their simplicity can serve as an anchor in the intense, wide-open sea she creates with her singing.

The additional production touches on “Palace” are an honest jolt after the aggressively acoustic first three songs, but not an entirely welcome one. Her voice is still the main attraction, and her observations on love and relationships are as fierce and pointed as ever. “Trying,” however, is a rare thing, an ode to regression. She sings of “feeling old in [her] twenties,” growing weary of chasing love and friendship. “Why are you always giving up on me?” she sings, her voice growing huge, indomitable, as she pleads at the chorus: “Can’t you see I’m trying?” As with Mitski’s “Geyser,” she could be singing to a lover or to the very institution of the music business.

Mielke previously worked as a fashion model, and, in 2013, signed with a major label that sought to make her a pop star à la Katy Perry or Ellie Goulding. Scouring the internet, it’s possible to see vestiges of this past life of hers, like her appearance in full glam in the Weeknd’s 2012 video for “The Zone.” But Mielke had no desire to become a pop star. Instead, she chose her own path and made her goals clear: to create beautiful, affecting music, with only her voice and her simple instruments. No bells, no whistles, no buzz. There is a defiance in the record’s simplicity, and an incredible confidence, that takes me right back to that incredible gig six years ago. Finally, indeed.
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About Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera

Hey, I'm Perera! I will try to give you technology reviews(mobile,gadgets,smart watch & other technology things), Automobiles, News and entertainment for built up your knowledge.
Elissa Mielke - Finally EP Music Album Reviews Elissa Mielke - Finally EP Music Album Reviews Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on Monday, June 21, 2021 Rating: 5

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