To Share is to Self-Care: Eloise Review
Eloise is a singer-songwriter from London who writes, in her own words, “miserable songs about love”. Eloise’s musical mixology accounts for incorporations of jazz standards, R&B, bedroom-jazz, indie-pop and indie-rock. In April of this year, she released her first full-length LP, “Drunk on a Flight”, demonstrating her ability to take us through an expansive emotional landscape of love with a skilful curation of differing genre mediums. Love, then, is far more compelling in the world of Eloise.
With a backing band painting a luscious contemporary R&B landscape, the synthesiser pulsating lush chords, the drummer holding ground, and the bassist flourishing between scales to create a firm but flexible foundation, Eloise arrives on the stage with an immense gracefulness. Their presence transforms Kitsilano’s Hollywood Theatre into a 1920s jazz club, with the opening number Hungover accompanied by the pleasant murmurs from the crowd.
The setlist encompasses the entirety of Eloise’s catalogue, missing few tracks from any of the artist’s favoured musical projects. The chronological presentation feels as though the show is taking me through different eras of the artist’s psyche. The set begins with the synthy bedroom-jazz fluidity of tracks such as TTCL and BAMO. Then, as smoothly as the honey-laden sound from the band’s cohesivity, we move into Pretend – a track taken from the artist’s new album Drunk on a Flight, which details experiences of longing and mutual reparations against the backbone of a relaxed yet driven four to the floor beat.
The band then departs and Eloise invites support act, James Smith - a charming, goofy, and relentlessly English singer-songwriter - to accompany her to the stage to sing two duets, Tired Now and Friends Who Kiss. This feels like a tender insight, an aesthetic performance of the internal conversations Eloise holds within herself, in reflections of her relationships and feelings in love. The spotlight shifts between them in emphasis, and it feels as though I am witness to two hearts dancing in unison.
Finishing with an encore of two Spotify favourites - the titular Drunk on a Flight and the irresistible Subside – I am left both wanting more, but still grateful. Wanting to hear a hoard of further material, yet grateful that I have been led through a radiant journey of her entire discography.
It is impossible to convey the entirety of Eloise’s set, for every single track is a weighty story in which she bears her heart for all to enjoy. Underlying all the tracks is an elegant transparency in Eloise’s lyrics. Each story told remains similar insomuch that it is both Eloise’s and ours. In each of her exclamations, memories and insights, something is shared and taught in relationship – this is a gift few artists possess in such lucidity and for this, I am immensely grateful.
Introductory Song Suggestions: Giant Feelings, You Dear, Hungover and Pretend.