Artist Spotlight

Review: Elyse & the Aftermath, “Love & Armour”

No Comments 6 July 2014

Review: Elyse & the Aftermath, “Love & Armour”

“Elyse Haren takes a step forward in her career as a songwriter and performer with the adventurous Love & Armour.”

Artist: Elyse & the Aftermath

Album: Love & Armour

Genre: Pop

RIYL: Heart, Garbage, Goldfrapp

Love and Armour

Love & Armour, the new album from Elyse & the Aftermath, is an engaging and curious blend of electro pop and indie rock. It marks a progression of singer/songwriter Elyse Haren’s jump from a more acoustic pop style into the realm of electronic pop. The style suits Haren’s emotive vocals well, and allows her to play with range and dynamics with great results.

The dramatic opening track “Love Fever” delves straight into dance pop, and showcases Haren’s soaring vocals on top of a ready steady beat. “House of Cards” again takes advantage of this directional move toward incorporating more of a dance vibe, and it really suits the range that Haren is able to extract from her vocals. Haren also includes a bit of a gamble with her cover of New Order’s “True Faith.” This is a beloved classic cut from one of the forerunners of this genre, and there is always a risk in this type of attempt. It’s a competent performance and true to the original, however, I’m not sure it adds to the collection of tracks in a way that makes it stand out. Haren’s own original material in this style does more to impress and doesn’t need the assist from a more recognized standard.

In contrast, “Lost on You,” “Dirty Laundry,” and standout track “Novocaine” break into more familiar territory with a more subdued tone and a focus on the introspective lyrical style that Haren is known for. With this more stripped-down sound, the lyrics are able to resonate more easily through arrangements that give Haren more space to emote and draw us in with her words. This is even more evident with the inclusion of an acoustic version of “Love Fever” later in the album, when the dance beats are stripped away and the connection with the emotion grows. In fact, this shows off her versatility as a songwriter, and I may have preferred the tension and performance in this format even more than the energetic opening track.

Elyse Haren takes a step forward in her career as a songwriter and performer with the adventurous Love & Armour. It’s always a risk to venture further out of a musical comfort zone, but with this record it’s clear that Haren has so much more to give to her craft.


Elyse & the Aftermath website: http://www.elyseandtheaftermath.com/

 

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