Emma Elisabeth | Some Kind Of Paradise Review
by Bea Willis
Emma Elisabeth is a Swedish Singer/Songwriter, artist, and producer whose independent release Melancholic Milkshake (2019) landed write-ups and glowing reviews in media with flattering comparisons to female artists like PJ Harvey, Angel Olsen, Patti Smith, and Stevie Nicks. Elisabeth was born in Höllviken, a small town by the Swedish southern seaside. After living in various places like Malmö, Stockholm, and the deep forests, she settled in Berlin, where she turned music into a full-time career. Her nomadic lifestyle sparked different kinds of inspiration and collaborations along the way, which resulted in various projects and bands, touring Japan to making appearances on national TV – a road of self-discovery and artistic exploration that has culminated in her project, Emma Elisabeth. Some Kind Of Paradise is her latest organic record, a genuine collection of music with an actual heartbeat, recorded and produced by Emma Elisabeth and some of her closest collaborators.
The title track opens the album with a mysterious guitar chordal figure. Elisabeth’s voice is drenched in reverb and delay as the song unfolds its secrets. Her guitar chords support the thickening vocal harmonies as the song grows more complex. Elisabeth’s vocals have richly iridescent hues for the chorus. Her vocal counterpoint tentatively sneaks out behind the melody, then falls into the swaying background in lockstep.
“Up In Smoke” starts with a catchy melody that slowly builds with layers of synths, backing vocals, and eventually, a dance beat that ramps up momentum. “Up In Smoke” begins, as so many of these tracks do, with a soft guitar part, and shimmering vocals, then blossoms into a developing song pattern that will bring you along for the ride. Subtle synths flesh out the margins while ghostly vocal backgrounds dance above the rhythmic bleats of the drums. Again, Elisabeth shows she is a songwriter of both texture and melody.
Emma Elisabeth has a flowing set with Some Kind Of Paradise; together with her collaborators, they create an atmosphere. “I just don’t want to use my head too much,” she muses. “I try to be as heartfelt as possible. I love music that doesn’t try to be too intelligent just for the sake of it.” Elisabeth’s songwriting craft and warm vocals are the backbones of the project. Or, as she puts it: “I try to balance out my pop melodies with darker sounds and jangling guitars.” That she does on Some Kind Of Paradise.
Some Kind of Paradise
Release Date: March 4, 2022
Label: Clouds Hill