Ellington - More Like a Movie, Less Like Real Life
Record Label: Unsigned (Independently Released)
Release Date: September 6th, 2008
Perhaps I'm alone when I state that despite the abundance of new music that comes readily available to us listeners, there are frequently times where the vast array of music is overwhelming in quality, yet severely deficient in personality and substance. It's during these times you could be forgiven for lacking enthusiasm to pursue and discover bands that are worthy of exposure because bands such as Ellington don't appear very often despite the duration of time and sustained effort it takes to finally find them. Containing blissful melodies, lusciously layered vocals and charming lyrics composed of optimism and love; More Like a Movie, Less Like Real Life creates a wondrous sound scape of vulnerability and candid emotion throughout its six track, twenty-three minute duration.
"Between Faith and the City Lights" opens proceedings beautifully and is phenomenal in every facet of the word. Jake Bosci's vocals cascade with emotion over expertly crafted lyrics that document a previous relationship and all of the heart wrenching memories that once accompanied it. It's poetic, simplistic and unequivocally honest. There's an undeniable sense of urgency coursing throughout the final verse as Bosci sings in retrospect with youthful insecurity, "irrespective of how much it means to fall in love/it's always a great idea until the heartbreak comes." As the final chorus emits through the speakers, rendering shivers down your body, I challenge you to avoid belting out every letter of every single word with the sincerest of passion that it was intended to be sung.
"Wide Awake and Smiling" begins with predominant instrumentation entwining delicately with Bosci's urgently hushed vocals, successfully creating an irresistible atmosphere throughout the entire opening verse. The lyrics are given authenticity for they're so remarkably relatable. They're simple, yet complex and sophisticated enough for listeners to want to unravel every verse, to discover the powerful messages that the musicianship alone cannot adequately convey. It's splendid, it's entralling, and it's this heartfelt passion that will see Ellington create truly astounding musical feats in the future.
"Love" is a testament to the precise songwriting and craftsmanship that Bosci and guitarist Michael Beatson have managed to showcase to their audience. It may not be as memorable or instantly loveable and accessible as the aforementioned tracks, but the power and beauty is that it's able to pull the listener in a variety of various directions. The verses are sung with an air of unmistakable loneliness and resignation, only for the chorus to then soar with optimism and enthusiasm. This is perhaps best expressed through the lyrics themselves as Bosci writes "I swear I'll stay and make the same mistakes you made look better". It's saturated in vulnerability and is a wonderful tune with conflicting of emotions throughout.
"Radiate" is simply gorgeous. Delicate guitar picking and soft strumming lay the foundation for Bosci to once again deliver his now expectant breathtaking vocal performance. Lyrically it contains a considerable amount of clichés, but rather than have an adverse effect, instead it helps to generate vivid imagery of love and romance in the unrequited format. While lines and lyrics such as "If I was up in space I'd hang out with the stars/I'd look for the brightest one and know exactly where you are" may seem forced, juvenile and contrived, there's something so sincere and refreshing regarding the manner in which Ellington write. It's as if you yourself are the heart and soul of the record; that every word was written and intended to be sung for you only. It's an immersive and thoroughly indescribable experience. It's one of the biggest assets that the band possesses and is able to utilize seemingly effortlessly and at will.
It's difficult finding the perfect words to explain what Ellington represent, what they've thus far managed to achieve during their relatively short and inexperienced music career to date, and why you should take the time and make the subsequent effort to click upon the Myspace link at the bottom of this review. However, I can guarantee that if you indeed follow that exact advice, that you won't be disappointed. More Like a Movie, Less Like Real Life is wonderful, it's mesmerizing, it's captivating and it's enchanting. Enjoy one of the finest and most under appreciated extended plays of 2008. After all, it's never too late to stumble across something extraordinary.
Good review, hit most of the points that I would, although I'm a little biased towards these guys since they've been extremely nice to me when shipping merch might have bumped it up to 90% if I were reviewing. :P Fantastic band, and really great guys.
I ordered the Ellington sunglasses from them a couple months ago for my best friend's birthday. They'd been begging for them for a while. The sunglasses took more than a month to get here and missed my friend's birthday, but when they did arrive the package contained two pairs of the sunglasses, a free copy of this EP and a letter apologising for how long it took. Their generosity even converted my dad into a fan hahah.