Elles Bailey – Road I Call Home (Self Released)
Could this be blues siren Elles Bailey’s breakthrough year? Bubbling under as one to watch since 2016, the potential has always been there…and 2.5m Spotify streams later it seems she’s certainly been heard. But Road I Call Home is the sound of a game changing record that’s rich in rock and soul.
There’s no doubt the influence of Nashville royalty Bobby Wood and Black Keys alumnus Dan Auerbach is writ large over an album which propels Bailey from busy wannabe to bona fide contender. Her distinctive, demure tones have finally found the sympathetic production to match and when she’s at her most subtle and seductive – on tunes like What’s The Matter With You – the British blues queen conquers all.
But Bailey can switch it up and continues to do so. Wild Wild West is a wicked ear-worm of a track that buries itself deep and refuses to weaken its considerable grip. Lead single Medicine Man dropped weeks before Christmas but still sounds fresh, carefully juxtaposed between What’s The Matter With You and the reflective title track.
What Bailey has in her locker is an expansive range, supreme self-confidence and an authentic voice capable of carrying blues kicking and screaming into 2020 and beyond. And here’s the thing – such is the rich variety underpinning Road I Call Home that early adopters and latecomers to the party will still be talking about a genuinely exciting release this time next year.
Bagging a spot at this summer’s Ramblin’ Man Fair is another giant step on the journey towards widespread acclaim and don’t doubt for one minute that Bailey will do anything but seize her chance and convert the masses within minutes. With Road I Call Home to fall back on it’s an absolute given. It’s one Elles of a record. Or, as Bailey’s current single suggests, A Little Piece Of Heaven.