With her debut EP Wanderlust, the Gold Coast’s very own beguiling chanteuse Ella Fence has delivered a highly impressive suite of widescreen vignettes forged on her stunningly singular musical vision. As is befitting of its title, Wanderlust has been borne from a place of worldly musical exploration, which has seen Ella traverse to locations as evocatively far flung as Paris and the famed Brighton Electric recording studio in the UK.
The first thing immediately apparent upon listening to Wanderlust is THAT voice of hers, vivid, emotional, timeless, yet also distinctively Australian in nuance. And put it to good use she does across the expressive depths of the five tracks on offer. Moody and cinematic, Wanderlust travels the shadowy folk-ways of ethereal keyboard swirls and string flourishes. There is a sense of dreamlike wonderment contained within the grooves of these stylish aural postcards from the ether.
As an introduction to the world of Ella Fence, opening single Unknown Water is indeed a high watermark, windswept and shimmering, the shadows of PJ Harvey and Calexico are conjured as the track rises to a rousing climax. It should be plain to anyone with ears why the song is starting to gain plenty of traction across the broader musical landscape.
The tracks Hunter and A While conjure a magical music box of 60’s pastoral folk with a hint of woozy psych, heading down the rabbit hole of early Goldfrapp by way of Dutch kaleidoscopic dreamer Jacco Gardner. Stately and dreamlike, The Dust embellishes it’s aura with (s)weeping orchestral flashes, the track ebbing out as a lonesome guitar strum fades to… dust.
And EP closer Cigarettes and Red Wine, recorded in Paris with famed indie musician and producer Ken Stringfellow (best known as a founding member of The Posies and for his REM and Big Star affiliations), delivers a yearning moment of wistful disquiet to round out the Wanderlust experience.
Listen up and take notice people, a unique talent wanders in our midst…