Ella Eyre released her debut album ‘Feline’ yesterday (August 28), Quays News entertainment reporter Nathan Salt’s had a listening…

Who would have thought a sushi-loving 21-year old cynical globophobiac – a fear of balloons – would produce one of the funkiest debut pop albums that forces listeners to get up and dance? Ella Eyre has found her sound, her unique vocal briskness, having bided her time as a guest vocalist for other artists – namely Rudimental. She might have delayed this album but fans will be purring when they hit that play button on ‘Feline’….

The Brit school graduate has showcased her vocal talents in a variety of ways across ‘Feline’, an album which has an air of familiarity given the number of released singles (six) that feature on the record. Known for her high tempo pop tracks, the feisty curly-haired Londoner has carefully crafted a balanced album with songs such as ‘Good Times’, ‘Comeback’ and ‘Together’ countered by stripped back tracks such as ‘Even If’and ‘Alone Too’.

Comparisons to female artists such as Jess Glynne, Emeli Sande and Ellie Goulding, Eyre is another female British solo artist that has that something special. Glynne’s debut album was announced as number one this week and ‘Feline’ will – along with The Weeknd’s new album – push it during next week’s chart show. Fine-tuned, refined and now ready, ‘Feline’ has come down from the shelf it was placed upon after a delayed release. Now an established soloist, Eyre has got over the hurdle of the first album and should not look back after this promising debut.

There is a sombre theme on occasion with a number of tracks rumoured to surround her split with fellow chart success John Newman from whom Eyre split mutually with last year. ‘Typical Me’ speaks of Newman as her ‘favourite mistake’ and yet Eyre has stuck to her punchy style and centered the track with her powerhouse vocals.‘If I Go’ is another through which the lyrics’narrative hint at the Newman split: ‘I need time and I need space’.

This is an album that is made for the live stage – her sensational showing at this year’s Parklife highlighted that. Tracks such as ‘Good Times’- built up with a frantic pace and catchy hook – possess a carefree attitude and positivity where listeners lose their inhibitions; much of this album belongs on stage at festivals in front of thousands. An intense drum beat provides the back drop for one of the album’s stand out tracks – despite it charting at 37 in the singles chart recently which is an unfair reflection it would be argued.

Catapulted to stardom with her style of fast contemporary pop and catchy hooks, it makes a pleasant change for Eyre to include a track which is stripped back to a piano and her vocals. ‘Even If’ is that song and is arguably one of the album’s standouts as the delicate ballad emphasises that Eyre has much more in her musical repertoire than given credit for. Performed whilst on tour with Olly Murs earlier this year, it has tones of romance and passion and with a limited post production it allows her husky vocal to showcase its range. Vibrant pop numbers aside, Eyre is at her finest on the refined, delicate ballads.

This album has been a long time coming for her fans – know collectively as ‘Eyreheads’- but she has certainly delivered. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: what doesn’t Eyre have going for her right now? The world is her oyster with albums, TV promos and modelling highlighting the star Eyre has well and truly become since that Rudimental collaboration back in 2013.

In Manchester Arndale for an album signing on Monday before playing a sold out show at the Albert Hall in Manchester on November 6. ‘I think I’m on to something, I feel the good times coming’she confesses in ‘Good Times’- me too Ella, me too…



By: Nathan Salt

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