Driftless Recordings – November 17, 2016
Lexington’s Ellie Herring has become an increasingly popular part of the electronic music community over the course of the last few years. Her sounds have evolved over that time, leaving us here with What a Joy, an entrancing collection of five songs. The tracks here inhabit a space somehow shared by thudding kick drums and bass lines, while remaining relaxing and tranquil. “Wheels On” – the first track released as a single – is a mid-tempo track that slowly builds from heavy drums and syncopated bass, adding sparse, echoey notes in the upper octaves. My favorite on the EP is “Penelope,” a track that is fun in the same way Todd Terje is fun (though, without sounding quite like his music). It’s outfitted with sampled hand drums, warped lush synth chords, and a heavy groove – it’s just a really fun track. “Forgot Right” turns the beat around onto the latter half of each bar, samples some distorted male vocals, and pulses with buzzing synthesizer chords. The intro to “Swim Me” is very spacey and calm, allowing you to hear the bass line slowly sneak up into the mix until it stands out as the skeleton of the song – Yaeji’s vocals on the track almost feel like an instrument, timed metronomically with the drums and bass to add to the trance. “Seaport at Night” is a palette-cleansingly atmospheric track, and a great way to close out the EP, waiting patiently to add the drums and a soft harmonic progression. What a Joy is a great, atmospheric, feel-good experience – take a good listen, and enjoy.
Tracks I Liked: Penelope!!!, Forgot Right!, Swim Me!!, Seaport at Night
Ben Southworth – November 20, 2016 – Kenwick Place