This month the multi-award-winning singing ‘n’ songwriting Bristol bluethroat ELLES BAILEY releases her first full-length album to be recorded in the UK: “Shining in the Half Light.”
The title was recorded in Devon during December 2020 at Middle Farm Studios; produced by Dan Weller (best known for a long working relationship with Enter Shikari).
It features accompanying musicians: Joe Wilkins (Sefrial) on guitar, keyboard legend Jonny Henderson, Matthew Waer (Yes Mess) on bass, and Matthew Jones (The Brackish) on drums.
Elles has recently been nominated Artist of the Year at The UK Americana Awards 2022.
vocals like cherry birch coals set sizzling with hot toddy schnapps…Raw Ramp Music Magazine
The album’s centralising spinner “The Game” (co-written with West Country session guitarist Ashton Tucker and Bristol blues-funk guitarist Will Edmunds) is a good old-fashioned blues jam, laying down satisfying riffs, and evoking sand-soap rhythms that form a sculptural backdrop for Elles’ much-celebrated vocal performance.
“Sunshine City’”(written in collaboration with Matt Owens of Noah and the Whale) is a rocker with gritty honky-tonk guitar, steady bass, rousing beats, and seductive moonstone keyboards. There are some gliding solos (from Sefrial guitarist Joe Wilkins) that peek through the organdy surface, to illuminate the whole piece, and the vocals are like cherry birch coals set sizzling with hot toddy schnapps.
The spellbinding talismanic number ‘Stones’ (arranged by blues, gospel and soul singer Izo FitzRoy) is marinated by contemplative guitar and punctuated by a shamanic percussion hook. Also bolstered by key-shape silhouettes, the instruments on this number present the understructure for Elles’ pleasingly spicy voice of plum & ginger-rum. This is a song that packs a huge amount of effectiveness, momentum and texture.
And ‘Cheats and Liars’ (also written with Ashton Tucker) is a number from another world: a song with a deep, meaningful and penetrating message and written for moments like these. This is a hymn for us as we cower in a chasm of trepidation & fear that has been inflicted upon us by our so-called betters. So here her band forges an heroic emblem of sound that builds on Elles’s opulent vocal tonality, revealing an accusatory voice that we’d describe as a honeystone maturation and chokecherry magnetoelectrics! Wow-oh-wow!
Release date: 25 February 2022
Album launch show: OMEARA (London) Tuesday 8th March 2022
Words: @neilmach 2022 ©
Main Photo: Blackham Images (Rob Blackham)