Editor's Rating

Brisbane's Ella Músa has released an EP that literally sparkles and shines like the sun on the Queensland coast.

8.2

Brisbane’s Elle Músa has released an EP that literally sparkles and shines like the sun on the Queensland coast. A bucolic and sleepy air hangs over the EP – but it is far from soporific. Rather, there is a bleach-white brightness evoking lazy summer days in the turquoise-blue waters of the reef, there is a shimmer in the instrumentation that energizes and brightens.

Músa says of the EP:

‘sun, sun, sun’ was created sporadically over a couple of years, with some songs being written on the Sunshine Coast, Sydney, Portugal and Bali. I am always writing about love. Love for the simple pleasures of life, for the sun and sea and for people closest to me. Each song should be a little holiday for the mind and soul. Always by the sea and always under the sun. These songs are authentically me… revealing my fears, my naive self, my love of romance, my love of the ocean and my tendency to sway towards the mystic and the spiritual. I write music to help soothe my heart and to lift my spirits.. I really hope my music can do the same for its listeners.

And yet, antithetically, I detect a thread of filtered melancholia and poingnancy – a hint of shade at the heart of the melodies.

Single ‘Coco Honey and I’ captures this dichotomy. The electronic percussion sets a steady pace but Músa’s voice is natural and rings like a bell against the simple keys and acoustic guitars, filled with a sense of memories past. The languid pace is mesmerising and the French backing harmonies add an air of mystery and enigma:

The EP opens with Bibi’s Bay – another track that glides over a busy percussive base but focuses on Músa’s soft and gliding vocals – wistful and poignant. There’s almost a sixties tone and intricate layers of vocals and sweeping strings.

“Geminis’ has a European swing – a Jane Birkin/Serge Gainsbourg air – theatrical and poised that is all sweeping vistas, coastal roads, beehive haircuts, scarfs and open-topped Italian sports cars. There is a delicate grace and beauty to the music.

The final tracks ups the ante – swift pacy pop gems. ‘Mango Pops’ again highlights Músa’s gorgeous vocals over a rolling piano and jaunty strings that form a contrapuntal movement to the languid picking guitars and vocals.

Final track ‘Merman’ is a swiftly moving delight with sky-high chorus – I’m coming out of my shell, a sea shell made of pearls – and a joyous video:

‘sun, sun, sun’ is a unique and distinctive EP with a sound unlike anything else around at the moment – there is a quintessential Queensland glimmer and shine, imbued with a tropical languid swing yet somehow arctic and remote. It’s a heady and glorious mix, an infectious collection of evocative vignettes that veritably glows with joy.