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Live Review: PREMIERE: Get ready for ELSZ with her new single, 'Dark Room'

29 June 2018 | 10:30 am | Emma Jones

Brooklyn-via-Sydney-and-Sri-Lanka producer/vocalist/harpist ELSZ is an artist you may be familiar with, not just from her own soulful avant pop and experimental RnB music, but also from her stellar collaboration with RIBONGIA on his song, 'Coming Undone'. If you're not familiar with her however, let 'Dark Room', her latest release, serve as the perfect introduction.

Following along the path that artists like KELELA and ABRA have forged, ELSZ offers up a unique twist on experimental RnB with her unique voice, affinity for avant pop production and her skills as a harpist. Her latest single, 'Dark Room' is accompanied by a fittingly dark and mysterious video clip that is both sensual and at times ominous as ELSZ invites you in - only if you dare. With a focus in writhing POC bodies moving in harmony, ELSZ's exploration of the relationship between abandonment and care comes through, highlighting how sharply they conflict and feed each other within toxic relationships. It also shines a spotlight on the technical brilliance of the dancers in the video including BHENJI RA and KOCO CAREY, as ELSZ' background as a dancer is brought to light in the visuals.

With music and lyrics that tackles the effects of colonialism on everyday living and gender-based violence, ELSZ opts to act as a healer rather than a narrator, creating a reflective and meditative mental space for black and brown bodied peoples, and that's exactly what she's done here with 'Dark Room'. An immersive experience from start to finish, ELSZ commands your attention and what she's saying needs to be heard. We can't wait to hear more.

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Image: Christian Hutter

Words by Emma Jones