Leeds, By Example
There are very few things I feel as passionate about in music as a song that knows exactly how long it needs to be, and with 'Something', UK singer/songwriter Elkyn has written a two-minute encapsulation on why efficiency is so crucial in the construction of fantastic music. Leaving on a tantalising high, 'Something' fades away just as it climbs to the peak of its emotional resonance, leaving listeners absolutely no option but to return time and time again.
The best song we encountered in February 2020, this song somehow positions itself as a unique addition to the landscape of independent songwriting, while simultaneously presenting itself with a disarming comfort; feeling utterly familiar. A prodigious talent, Elkyn has emerged from Leeds with an astonishingly pronounced stylistic identity and a raft of songs enviable in their consistent excellence. 2020's Beech EP brought his music to our attention, but already with this latest single Elkyn has demonstrated a phenomenal amount of growth in astonishingly quick progress. 'Something' arrives with warmth as cymbal splashes punctuate caressed guitar strings and a surprisingly forceful snare tone. Fusing with pads and a hyper-electronic lead melody, the connection between Elkyn's earnest folk-rock appeal and deviations into computerised musicianship stands supreme. It's a testament to exceptional production, songwriting and sonic creativity, and its a step forward that many small musicians would benefit from following.
Vocally, Elkyn's delivery offers itself with vulnerability, eliciting comparisons with the fantastically transparent sensuality of Cigarettes After Sex, but mediating on self-destruction, rather than self-fulfilment. Like much of Elkyn's catalogue, this song saturates itself with an awe-striking melancholy, softly offered to the listener through the singer's inch-perfect whispers. "Another wasted morning" is regretted, hoping "this time you'll feel it" as 'Something' exercises a feeling at once incredibly personal, yet accessibly universal.
Like the great songwriters, Elkyn manages to transpose personal experiences into something relatable for his listeners. Immediately, the quiet soundscapes of doubled guitars and an admittedly unspectacular bass line render themselves in colour, but a colour inescapably cerulean. It's fantastic, and just one more demonstration of how unmissable Elkyn's music really is. This is one of the best songs we've encountered in 2021 so far, and a most phenomenal song in the middle of an incredibly strong February crop. You need to be listening to Elkyn.
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Thanks for reading! Slow Motion Panic Masters is a music, arts and culture blog created and edited by Ben Wheadon, a literature student and musician based at the University of Oxford. He is also a Fleet Foxes shill. Do you make music? Follow our Instagram and send us a DM. We’ll contact you if we like what we hear. In the meantime, you can like us on Facebook and subscribe to our mailing list below to stay up to date with our ramblings.