The Versatility Of Ellington – As Seen On His Debut EP

Ellington put his name on the map – literally and figuratively – with this new record.

Ellington, EP, and extraordinary all start with the letter ‘e.’ This is no coincidence as Ellington’s new, self-titled EP is a glimpse into how working from home can make music all the more extraordinary.

Just a few days ago, the otherworldly talent that is Ellington descended from his heavenly LA home to beam a stellar album into the hearts and minds of alternative fans everywhere. While the album is far from being a work of science fiction, it is quite unbelievable that something so remarkable came out a year of such chaos. 

During the tail end of 2020, Ellington exclusively told us about how being in quarantine benefited him and his creativity. Alongside his fiancé and a few friends, he was able to dive headfirst into homebound music videos and create eclectic soundscapes that resonated with him in a time where there was little to no inspiration to be found. Using that time wisely, Ellington came into his own as an artist and was able to embark on this solo endeavor that fans near and far have gotten on board with. 

This new EP, aptly titled Ellington, has five tracks. While it is truly just a handful of songs, each one has a dizzying personality to it that makes it the most engaging listen from start to finish. His first solo single “EMT,” kicks it off. The electricity in this song allows listeners of any and all genres to immerse themselves in it, which means as an introductory track, it sets the stage for this EP’s versatility to shine. 

That track is followed up by “Sun To Rise – Extended,” which is a song that clocks in at four minutes and feels like it could last a lifetime. Layered vocals and intricate production makes this track equally elegant and distorted. This contradictory song will surely be a fan favorite because of its hefty musicality. The fact that Ellington could throw all these beats and sounds, including his own voice, at the wall and have it bounce back as this mind-boggling alt song is quite amazing. Once again miss proving that this solo project of his is both unbelievable and necessary in a time where music is a true source of comfort. 

Next up is “Band of Gold,” certainly the grooviest song on this new record. From the get-go, this third track feels like it needs to be performed live. Fans deserve to hear the choral vocals and almost orchestrational background live, in a venue, where they could dance and sing, bopping around to such a retro sounding song. Although there is a vintage aspect to it, the entertainment within it just stems from the aura of positivity that radiates from Ellington’s precise instrumentation and overarching beat development. 

“Beauty Is Terrifying” is the longest song on the Ellington EP, but almost goes by too fast. It has a slightly R&B tinged intro that dives into garage band-esque vocals that feel like they come straight from Ellington’s soul. But then the song closes with a vivacious and almost rambunctious musical outro. The evolution of this song from start to finish allows it to be a rollercoaster to listen to, but has an eclectic and fun vibe nonetheless. “I feel so good about it, don’t need to drink at all,” the musician drones midway, aiding the ardent and almost overly expressive feeling that this song gives off.

Closing out this debut EP of the outstanding Ellington’s is “Sun To Shine!” This track is easily the most rocking on the album with catchy riffs and a slick bass line. The mid-nineties influence is evident throughout the entirety of the song, but it is absolutely welcomed. There are a variety of influences floating in and out of each one of these five songs, making it difficult to pinpoint something or someone. Inspiration can come from anywhere and Ellington depicts that on this record. 

“Sun To Shine!” is a truly cohesive piece of music that deserves attention regardless of it being dead last on the record. It gives way to this EP ending on a high note, one that you can air guitar to or sing along to at any time any place. Some may recommend driving down the highway with the windows down and enjoying this song in that way, but that’s truly up to each individual listener. Turning up the volume to full blast and dissecting each track piece by piece could be vital to your interpretation and adoration for it,as well. If you want to just jam or vibe alongside it, there’s still enough of that in it to do so, as well.