elliott lee friesen is a musician from Brooklyn, New York who recently released chosen name. The EP contains five songs all of which revolve around vocals and guitar.
“and when your memory fades” is the first song and gives you an idea of the mood you can expect from the rest of the song. The music is warm, reflective and melancholy. It reminded me of Grizzly Bear and perhaps Bon Iver as well. However the song felt like it was trying to be more dramatic and serious than Grizzly Bear. It was something within the inflection of the vocal delivery.
Up next is “the luckiest creature.” It starts with some guitar and well performed vocal harmonies. This song has a little bit more traditional folk to it in the spirit of a band like Vetiver. “nothing to hide” is another success with a slightly jazzy feel. The vocals are warm and I especially liked the vocal harmonies and additional instrumentation.
The centerpiece is the title track “chosen name.” It’s a four-plus minute song that is the most dynamic of the bunch. The vocals are sung in a very dramatic way but work with the mood of the song. Last up is “back of oblivion” which is a great closer. I especially liked the vocal melodies on this track.
I really liked all the songs and the foundation the artist creates. That being said I wish the recording was just a tad more conducive to the songs. These type of songs really benefit from close mic-ing and compression techniques that create a sense of intimacy as if I’m sitting a couple feet away. The recording was solid but I think a top notch mastering engineer could have probably given me that extra magic to really get all the nuances and subtleties of the music.
The songwriting and lyrics were top notch. I was hoping for a little more variation in terms of instrumentation perhaps from a xylophone or atmospheric pads to just give a couple more layers here and there to change things up.
Overall, I thought this was a beautiful EP with some heartfelt songs. Recommended.
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