The Bristol-based songwriter releases her EP ‘Who Am I To Me’, a smoky blues-rock record that fizzes with pop appeal
he may be based in the south of England but Elles Bailey has a sound that owes much to musical history from across the pond, adopting crunching blues as her weapon on her new EP Who Am I To Me.
The title track makes this much clear, with its swirling riffs and rolling drums taking the blueprint used so successfully by Jack White and giving it the feel of a rollicking bar band. Heart Go Oooh repeats the trick but adds to the effect, with an insouciant brass section and finger-wagging chorus that begs the listener to let their hips lose themselves in the moment. Take Me Back shows Bailey’s range, with a crestfallen piano melting into a pop-addled country section that has just a hint of mid-career R.E.M. Howlin’ Wolf then ends affairs as they started, carving whisky-soaked, leather-clad riffs that will be ringing in your ears long after last orders.
It can set an artist up for a fall to venture into a genre whose placement in music is so tied to a region that’s not their own. However, Bailey has a fine grip on her influences and her choice of blues-rock serves only to augment her smoky and infections vocals, meaning that Who Am I To Me will find favour among blues fans from around the globe.
Verdict: Blues rock for all regions