A few weeks back, I took a rare venture into the outside world from the confines of lockdown to take my dog for a walk in Gloucestershire’s picturesque Forest of Dean. When I came back, a message popped into the GigRadar inbox from a band whose members are based in said Forest of Dean. Weird huh?
That band is Elessar, a trio that formed as an emo/alternative band a few years back and are, in their words, “dropping the sad vibes of the past” to evolve to more of a rock/pop sound.
The latest offering of this change in sound is new single Is It Love, which was released earlier this month. It opens up with light vocals over a twinkling little guitar lick and the pace increases as more guitars and drums enter the fray.
That builds up to a big catchy chorus of “Is it love? Tell me you need it, You’ve got me falling to my knees, Pull me up and tell me more lies, ‘Cause you know I’ll believe them, I know I’ll fall for you again, Pull me up” supported by heavier instrumentals.
It drops into another light verse and chorus, which drops into a light section of electronic effects then a cool little pre-chorus then a couple of repeats of the chorus. Check it out in the lyric video below:
That track follows last year’s single What You Want, which is a little heavier but retains the band’s catchy melodies. Check it out in the video here:
We had a chat with frontman Ricky to find out more. Read on below…
GR: Who are Elessar?
RP: “Elessar consists of Ricky Powell, Dan James and Alex Evans, all from Gloucestershire UK. We formed from separate bands within our music scene growing up, we were familiar with each other’s talents and decided to link up back in 2016. Originally as an Emo/Alternative band before rebranding at the end of 2019 as a Rock / Pop band.”
GR: You just released Is It Love? What should people be expecting from the song?
RP: “Is It Love is an interesting one for us, it mixes stripped back pop influences with a chunky rock chorus you’d expect from Elessar. It’s also quite a personal one for me. We went through a dry spell with writing new material, as my attention had turned to a girl I was seeing.
“Everything suddenly stopped out of the blue, after seemingly going so well. So I tried to write about that. She ended up with a new fella and I ended up with a new song. It wasn’t all bad I suppose.”
GR: You mention it offers a bit of a change of sound. What was behind that? And is that something you’re looking to go with long-term?
RP: “Absolutely! Back in 2019 we took some time out, and came back with a totally new sound. I guess we got tired of sad songs all the time, we wanted music that would make people move, dance around and party with positive vibes. It received such a great reaction from fans, that this was our ‘push the boat out further’ song.”
GR: How would you describe your sound to people that haven’t listened to you yet?
RP: “It’s almost heavy-ish dance rock at this point! We’re all about getting people moving, whether that’s with pop drum beats or heavy guitars in the chorus. We just want big sounds that feel like you’ve been punched in the face. In a good way obviously!”
GR: What influences you to write music? Any key themes or topics that you write about?
RP: “I like to write about life! It’s the most relatable when it comes to people listening to your music. Whether it’s how I met a girl in a club, or a hangover from a weekend with my best friends, I’ll cover absolutely anything. As long as it’s true to me and someone else might relate to it.”
GR: Which bands/musicians are/have been your strongest musical influences?
RP: “There are so many options! Our music tastes in this band are ridiculous. We quite often get compared to the likes of Don Broco, Lower Than Atlantis and even The 1975 at times. But we also love pop music, Dua Lipa and The Weeknd to name a few.”
GR: What have you got coming up in 2020?
RP: “We had so many plans! Then COVID-19 happened… But we’re doing our best to keep busy. We were in the middle of recording 4 new tracks, which will hopefully be finished before the end of summer. Our plan is to release as many singles as we can this year, touring sounds like wishful thinking but we’d love to hit the road again for sure.”
GR: Anything else you’d like people to know about you/your music?
RP: “We’re great guys! We put on an energetic live show, and if this single does as well as our previous 3 tracks, I’d say the re-brand in style has been a successful one. Be sure to check us out if you like any of the artists I’ve mentioned here!”