You have to be pretty sure of the music you are making to name an electronic album Euphoric Melodies. With electronic music, whether a melody is euphoric or not is up to the listener. Euphoria comes at the point where time, space, and music interact so perfectly in a transformative moment of musical alchemy. To serve notice of intent so implicitly suggests a confident determinism that sure as hell needs to be backed up by the music. Thankfully, the new EP from Cardiff-born producer, Elkka, proves to be a treasure chest of exhilarating, uplifting tunes wholly deserving of its title.
Initially dipped into a warm bath of swirling synths, “Burnt Orange” gracefully builds before rippling across the dancefloor, caught on the back of a contorting groove set to twist limbs for years to come. It’s such an effortlessly giddy track that it provides a pure, joyful dopamine hit even after a dozen listens. Hard to tell, then, that the song proved to be something of a war of attrition for the artist. It’s a track that seemed to be always teetering on the creative precipice until she finally managed to haul it back. While the track is undoubtedly the big hitter on the EP, Elkka shows she has plenty more tricks up her sleeve.
The title track maintains the energy of the opening with a blaze of arpeggiated synths. However, peek under the hood, and there’s more going on with rich, ambient synths sitting low in the mix that attests to just how meticulously each track is constructed. Almost imperceptibly, Elkka gently ups the BPM, overwhelming the listener with a wall of electronics that penetrate the soul. Like everything on the EP, the way she blissfully stimulates the senses while combining the music with a profound sense of optimism is nothing short of thrilling.
“Flowers” is a blissed-out jam with Elkka’s lush vocals providing another textured layer to the music. Throughout this EP, her vocals are used sparingly – only there to provide light shading rather than be splurged all over the music. Oddly enough, this gives the songs a greater sense of humanity and heightens the sense of connection between listener and creator. Lyrically, ambiguous lines like, “I don’t know where we go from here” amplify this idea further as she articulates something we have all felt in whatever unique situation we have found ourselves in.
“Alexandra” is another classic, dancefloor banger. The kind that keeps you fixed to the same spot, desperate for the moment never to end and the music never to stop. There’s a wonderful crispness and cleanness to the track as every melodic line is buffed to a dazzling sheen. The aptly named “Morning Fuzz” is the perfect, comforting blanket of sound for the morning after. As the music fades, the one, overwhelming feeling left is one of, well, euphoria.
Euphoric Melodies does exactly what it says on the tin. Measured rather than wildly hedonistic, it offers everything you would expect of it. Full of pulse-quickening beats and dizzying synths imbued with a sense of inclusivity for those life-affirming moments on the dancefloor. This is Elkka giving notice that she is ready to move into the big leagues.