Elbé - Welter (EP Review)

March 07, 2023

Let's fly to Ireland to meet Elbé. It's a 4-piece band made of Seamus Allen, Nora Frederich, James Moon, and Emily Naughton. Yes, these guys are definitely for parity. And it shows in their music.

Listening to their freshly released 4-track EP "Welter", you will appreciate this magical alchemy from the opener "Unquiet", which bears its name very well. Very calm at the beginning, the song grows as it goes until the rhythm changes completely, carried away by Nora's frenzied drums. Then the rhythm changes again and the song becomes ethereal, carried by the incredible vocals of Seamus. We already feel this unique alchemy that characterizes the band and which will prove to be crucial for the rest of the EP.

And if you want more, the second track "Together" will convince you that Elbé is a safe bet you can count on. It is with this song that the band came to us. Again, a nice surprise with a gradual increase in power. The construction is a bit different from "Unquiet". No change of pace here, but rather a perfect control of the intensity. What's great about Elbé's music is that each instrument has its place and a very important role. If you remove one of them, it's like removing the essential ingredient of an ancestral recipe: everything would fall apart and the taste would become disgusting. "Together" differs from the opener by its two distinct parts: a sung part that leaves no room for improvisation, whether in the writing or the melody, then an almost instrumental, very powerful final part that left us speechless. As if time had stopped for this magic minute.

That's when "Over The Bridge", the band's most streamed track to date, enters the game. Radically different, carried by a delicious bassline at the opening, then by powerful electric guitar riffs and superbly controlled vocals. And besides, during the first chorus, we have a bit of the impression of listening to a good Stereophonics classic. Yes, the level of quality is the same! Good energy and once again a perfect symbiosis between each instrument, make "Over The Bridge" a much more rock track than the two previous tracks of the EP, but it has its place perfectly to demonstrate all the diversity of Elbé's musical landscapes.

"So Much So Few" concludes this musical adventure and makes us understand that the destination of the trip is a very rock universe. Yes, gradually, and without even realizing it, we started from a universe with folk roots and here we are in the middle of powerful electric guitar riffs, a bouncing bass, and drums that would make all the drummers on earth blush. We're not usually big fans of special effects on the voice, but we have to admit that this atmosphere, sometimes reminiscent of Matthew Bellamy, lends itself rather well. With its very airy bridge, the song moves quickly towards an electric conclusion which closes this quarter of an hour of magic with a masterful guitar solo.

Whether you are a fan of folk or rock, "Welter" has something to seduce everyone, beautiful energy, and above all an alchemy between the members of the band which is clearly their DNA. The passion for music shines through in every line, every song, and gives Elbé a special place in the indie universe. A sort of a rather cold UFO at first sight, which ends up astonishing you, transporting you, and leaving you with your mouth wide open wondering if what you have just heard was really real.

Reach out to Elbé

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