Hailing from Poland and currently living in New York, Ela Orleans has graced us with her musical generosity once again. Her latest endeavor "Lost" resembles a short histoire de l'amour, complete with instrumental soundscapes filling in the gaps between her narrative lyrics. In her low moan longing and sampled layers, Ela Orleans takes us into a demure,
suave landscape where internalizing is required and desire untouchable except behind closed doors. Harmonies melt into the sweet longing to be wanted and loved. The album flows like a film (what Orleans describes as "movies for ears"), each track constructing a different scene, at times through a screaming violin or through electronic dystopic swirls building the perfect background for her revealing lyrics. The joy in listening to Ms. Orleans comes in her precise editing of verse and melody where she lures you into her dreamy marshmallow jungle while keeping you just on the cusp of euphoria, revealing itself as mature restraint or masochistic benevolence. As she sings, "I am lost without you," you become lost in her voice, the antithesis of the verse, delicate and sweet, as if she is daring you to actually feel the sadness wrapped so eloquently in a simple melody. On three of the tracks Wende K. Blass offers beautifully dense and spirited guitar riffs over the layers of sampled mayhem and harmonies giving the tracks fullness. The success of this pairing comes as no surprise being that Ms. Orleans has been involved in several musical collaborations such as Hassle Hound the Scotland/NY based trio who brought us heavy sampling and whimsical absurdity.
While maintaining her presence in the experimental/noise New York music scene, Ms. Orleans has participated in the BMI film scoring and mentorship program "Composing for the Screen 2009" and has been a recipient of the NYFA immigrant mentorship program where she worked with renowned drummer Lukas Ligeti. With the many contributions Ela Orleans continues to make, there is a thread she weaves throughout the music, traveling in waves of melodic fragility and fierce honesty. As in any great work of art you are left wanting more, and thankfully for us this is just the beginning. (Sabrina Lessard for La Station Radar)
In antique times, Greeks didn’t describe dreams as something that happened in their heads while they slept, but as something that descended from heaven, you saw your dream approach like a window opening into the world of the Gods, and once the message was delivered, this window went away, it vanished into the distance. The beginning of Brooklyn chanteuse Ela Orleans’ Something Higher is absolutely like that, a funereal anthem of treble and reverb which materializes in front of you like a faded postcard from a frozen tundra beyond the fiery sea- it makes us think of Nico.
It sounds like the songs that that child was singing before she disappeared deep into the neck of the woods never to be seen again, they still echo ghostly in a barren spot where all that remains is silence. Enthralling. (www.20jazzfunkgreats.co.uk)