Elles Bailey – Shining In The Half Light (Deluxe Edition) Review

I can’t believe that it’s been 8 years since I was introduced to Elles Bailey by my good friend and PR Claire Lloyd. Back then Elles was plowing her...

Blues/Americana

Outlaw Records

Release Date – March 17th 2023

 

Line Up:

Elles Bailey – Vocals/ Piano

Joe Wilkins – Guitars

Matthew Waer – Bass

Matthew Jones – Drums

Jonny Henderson – Ivories

 

Tracklist:

1 – Cheats And Liars

2 – The Game

3 – Stones

4 – Colours Start To Run

5 – Different Kind Of Love

6 – Who’s That

7 – Sunshine City

8 – Halfway House

9 – Riding Out The Storm

10 – Shining In The Half Light

Extra’s

11 – Spinning Stopped

12 – Hole In My Pocket

13 – Over The Hill

14 – Long As I See The Light

Live At The Pool

15 – Halfway House

16 – Riding Out The Storm

17 – Stones

18 – The Game

19 – Sunshine City

 

 

I can’t believe that it’s been 8 years since I was introduced to Elles Bailey by my good friend and PR Claire Lloyd. Back then Elles was plowing her furrow and working extremely hard on her first album and had already released a well-regarded EP. That got her noticed because it was a stunning affair that showcased her beautiful smoky voice and her developing songwriting. The second album saw her write with some of Nashville’s finest and further developed her writing skills. On ‘Shining On The Half Light’ Elles wrote a ton of material during the lockdown and decided to record with producer Dan Weller whose background is a lot heavier and louder having previously worked Enter Shakiri. Elles also enlisted a bunch of young and extremely talented UK songwriters plus a couple from Nashville to help write the songs. Although this, her third record, was released in 2022 she has relented to public pressure and decided to add a few bonus tracks for a ‘deluxe’ version.
Opening with the dark Americana of ‘Cheats And Liars’ which would fit perfectly on any of these new shows written by Tayler Sheridan. ‘The Game’ is a healthy dose of upbeat country rock n roll that gets your toe tapping and your head nodding before things get serious on the gritty ‘Stones’ which has a superb slide guitar courtesy of Joe Wilkins. ‘Colours Start To Run’ brings a whole lotta soul and gospel before the stunning ‘Different Kind Of Love’ gives us more gospel that will start the tears rolling. ‘Who’s That’ has a 60’s echoey vibe before the boot-scootin’ boogie of ‘Sunshine City’ have you up and dancing. The pure country ballad ‘Halfway House’ leads to more gospel/soul on ‘Riding Out The Storm’ before things turn serious on the title track.

In December last year, Elles got her live band together and headed back into the studio to record two new original songs and a couple of covers. I’m a sucker for a folky nursery rhyme and that’s what we get on ‘Spinning Stopped’ – total earworm and beautiful, then ‘Hole In My Pocket’ goes back to the blues and raises the hairs on the back of your neck and arms. John Martyn’s ‘Over The Hill’ gets countrified then John Fogerty’s ‘Long As I Can See The Light’ is given the Elles Bailey treatment.

That ain’t all – the band decided to record live takes of ‘Halfway House’, ‘Riding Out The Storm’, ‘Stones’, ‘The Game’ and ‘Sunshine City’. Live no overdubs to showcase just how good the band is, plus it shows the strength of the songs. Elles is not afraid to wear her heart on her sleeve nor is she afraid to put her personality and feelings into a performance and this record reflects that.
Elles Bailey recently picked up a couple of awards for this record – Artist of the Year and Live Act of the Year at the UK Americana awards. Thoroughly deserved plus the album made it to No.1 on the Blues chart, No.2 in the Alternative chart, No.4 on the Indie chart, and No.42 on the Mainstream chart. It’s no surprise because this is the best she’s done – until the next one!

 

Score: 10/10

Reviewed by: Smudge

 

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