I was at a house party last weekend enjoying some live music and sipping purified water around friends. Sitting amongst artists who jammed out to the show while they watched from the crowd, I realized how fortunate I was to be among a network of so many creative, inspiring people with such great taste in music. Case in point, after the show I began chatting with the guitar player and was introduced to the tunes of 25-year-old blues rock musican Elle King.
As many of the people at the party were into healthy living like myself, we got to talking about addiction and how we’ve changed our lives for the better. The reason I’ve come to love Elle’s music so much, other than the fact that she has a blues rock rasp that’s accompanied by the brilliance of a banjo, is that her songs are packed with powerful lyrics about love, heartbreak and addiction – almost as if they’re all the same thing. Whether or not you’ve struggled with some kind of vice in your life or you can just relate to overcoming struggle, Elle King will touch your heart with her relatable lyrics and rocking tunes.
Growing up in New York City, Elle moved to Philadelphia to attend the University of the Arts, studying painting and film. But during this time she had an epiphany while seeing a show where the band used a banjo purely for accompaniment purposes, and she began skipping classes to play a borrowed banjo. With a fake ID and ballsy attitude, Elle began gigging at 16 and was soon signed to newly appointed RCA Chairman Peter Edge. On June 12, 2012, her 4-song EP was released on RCA/Fat Possum Records. The EP’s lead track, Playing For Keeps, was chosen as the theme song for Mob Wives Chicago that premiered June 10, 2012 on VH1. Elle has since been called an Artist to Watch in 2012 by Esquire Magazine and Refinery 29 and has made television appearances on VH1 Big Morning Buzz Live and the Late Show with David Letterman.
Elle’s latest album, Love Stuff, is a roller coaster of emotion. My favourite tracks include Last Damn Night, an electric ode to living every day like it’s your last, Ex’s & Oh’s, a cheeky brag about past lovers always coming back for more, Song of Sorrow, an upbeat, banjo-laid ballad about desperation and Under the Influence, a raw confession about being addicted to someone who’s wrong for you. Released on February 17 of this year, the album is making traction mainstream quickly as Elle performed Exes & Oh’s on the Today Show. It’s refreshing to hear a woman sing so unapologetically about her past relationships. And then there’s the music video:
For the entire week I’ve listened to Love Stuff back-to-back, going from mood to mood as Elle’s powerful vulnerability on each song is contagious – from brooding to hopeful to peaceful to brave – Love Stuff will get you through whatever you’re going through at the time or just be a great listen to with friends at your next house party. And if you’re not sold yet on Elle King’s talents, check out this amazing cover of My Neck, My Back. Fun fact: Elle was the only one not sued by Khia for the cover, and the artist even referred to her as a “thug.”
Do you love Elle King’s music as much as I do? Let me know in the comments below!