In a day and age where too much R&B is nothing but about the grind, the Austria-based duo Elis Noa comes with a refreshing release. Art being an expression of thoughts and feelings that we would argue should go further than knee-deep, this album delivers on that. Romantic, atmospheric, authentic, and well-crafted. Polished but not glossy. Just a few keywords to get your heart and mind going.
ELIS NOA is comprised of Aaron and Elisa who are based in Vienna, Austria. The pair met at the Jazz Department of Vienna’s Music University. Together, ELIS NOA has released two EPs, "High EP" and "Love Letters" as well as their successful debut LP, "What Do You Desire?" ELIS NOA's sound ranges from pop to contemporary RnB, all the way to future soul.
When we search our catalog for comparisons, Norah Jones, Esperanza Spalding, and Ingrid Chavez first come to mind, which puts Elis Noa in good company, albeit more on the Jazzy side of things. Maybe the duo could infuse their work with #Jazz in a future release?
This album reads like a book
The track titles on "I Was About To Leave" are thought-provokingly simple. Mostly single words, like the opener 'Sorry' which could have been provided with a subtitle like (This Is Not About You), but that would probably make the track too self-explanatory.
From the cover, the track titles, to the lyrical content, this album is very carefully mapped out, as it invites the listener to follow a thought process of a woman (the woman in the bathtub?), as she ponders and explores her feelings towards herself and the letting go of her lover.
You have been sitting in that bathtub for too long, don't you think? Get out of the water. It got cold a long time ago...
Wow, an actual poem in a contemporary release! But, it comes at a pivotal moment in the album. From here our lead character steps out of the tub and moves on, weighing her "Options" in the closing track. This album reads like a book. Will there be a sequel? Or will ELIS NOA decide to take a completely different approach in their next release?