E.P Review: Elena Ramona – Hold on. By Sam Liddicott
The first song from the E.P. is Addiction, and kicks proceedings off wonderfully. With a gorgeous piano arpeggio and staccato beat, it unleashes a huge romantic energy. The song talks about love as an addiction; one “without restriction“. With an impassioned, powerful- yet tender- vocal performance, the track documents our heroine longingly imploring “I’m so lost without you” The song mixes solid and punchy beats with elliptical piano flourishes; augmented by a sleek and solid production throughout. It is a perfect opening gambit that gives the listener a chance to hear Elena Ramona’s gorgeous voice and skillful songwriting.The voice is hers and hers alone, and sets her apart from most of her contemporaries. As Addiction ends- with its proclamations of “don’t ever let me fall down” -there is a cinematic outro.; with shades of Dub-Step in the mix, which succinctly wraps up the song. The title track arrives next and instantly beats a Dub-Step heart. It slithers, strikes and thumps; reminding me of the likes of Skrilex and Katsuo.
Hold On is a bold statement that sees our heroine proclaiming “I’m not letting go“. In spite of a hypnotic beat, the vocal has an impassioned core, yet sees Elena Ramona in defiant mood (striking back at her doubters). The track is built around an inspirational coda, that urges everyone (as well as herself) to “Keep on believing/Keep holding on“. Whether referring to her music dreams (or not), our heroine intones (to unnamed subjects) that if they do not know how much it means to her, then she is “better off without“. The vocal is potent and empowered, but infused with an air of seductive sexiness as well; bolstered and supported by an energised and convincing composition (with great production values once more).
Rise is the E.P.’s swansong, and a track I have encountered- and reviewed- before. It is the first single from E.P., and is a beautiful and honest song; one that offers thanks to her family and friends- whom have supported and believed in her. One of her most personal songs, it sees our heroine take the pace down; backed by tender piano lines, she offers thanks “from the bottom of (my) soul“. The chorus is catchy and memorable, and Elena Ramona has a talent for making sure her lyrics stick in the mind with their simplicity and personal relevance. Once again, it is a track that is hugely memorable; built around a simple and effective repetition (“Thank you“). As our heroine brings the E.P. to a close, the dust settles, and we come to the end.
Having followed Elena Ramona’s career for some months (and having interviewed her too), I know how much music means to her. She has worked long and hard to ensure that Hold On makes it to your ears- and she should be extremely proud. Displaying an intuitive talent for multiple genres, she covers love, defiance, humble thanks and happiness over the course of nine-and-a-half minutes. It is a precise and bounteous trio of tracks, and a bold and stunning mission statement. I know that gigs and ambitious future prospects are in her mind, but the music world has so few genuinely talented and diverse young artists, that we need to celebrate the ones we have. I have witnessed a few new acts that are capable of making huge marks this year, and Elena Ramona is one of them. She is Surrey-based but will see demand from London and across the U.K. once her E.P. gets the attention it deserves. It is testament of a beautiful and skilful songwriter with a stunning, emotive and powerful voice; supported by compositions filled with nuance. Kudos, also, to the production, which is sleek and strong throughout. I am not sure what our young heroine has in mind for the rest of 2014, but one thing’s for sure:
I can’t wait to see what comes next.
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