I have this entire album on constant play. I may have a problem.
I think everyone with a radio has heard Elle King’s single “Ex’s and Oh’s”. Even my three year old is obsessed, singing along to every word and refusing to even let me consider changing the station. It’s inescapable… for good reason. I first heard it maybe 9 months ago on Palladia, which for those who aren’t aware, is the best music channel to ever exist. (And I am missing it something fierce now that we ditched cable, but that’s a post for another time.) It’s what MTV and VH1 used to be, but even better.
I was getting ready in the bathroom one morning with Palladia on in the bedroom and suddenly heard this strong, raspy female voice belting it out in a song that was catchy as hell. I peeked at the TV to see who this incredible voice belonged to and saw a gorgeous, curvacious blonde rocking her ass off. This was my introduction to Elle King and I’ve been hooked ever since.
Maybe it’s not a surprise that I have become as enamored by her as I have. This particular style of music is one of my favorites. Serena Ryder, Brandi Carlile, Joan Osborne, Melissa Etheridge, and classics like Janis Joplin and Grace Slick… all similar in vocal style/quality and all on my list of favorite singer/songwriters of all time. As young and new to the music scene as she might be, we might as well add Elle King to that list now.
And as great as “Ex’s and Oh’s” is, it is actually one of the weaker songs on her album, Love Stuff. Don’t get me wrong, it’s the perfect radio single and was a good way to hook her fans. But the album is really something special. It’s a rare occasion for me not to skip at least one track on an album, but this is one of them. Each song is fantastic in its own way, moving from soulful blues to folky twang to country rock to even an emotional ballad. She nails each and every one.
The highlights of the album for me are “Ain’t Gonna Drown” and “Kocaine Karolina”, both somewhat depressing tales of hardship and struggle, and “See You Again”, a heartbreaking declaration of longing. But really, the whole damn thing is commendable on so many levels. I just tend to gravitate toward the heavy lyrics for some reason.
Outside of her raw musical talent, she is a pretty incredible young woman. Self-assured, uncompromising, and a true “doesn’t give a shit what anyone thinks” attitude. My hope is that my girls look to her as a role model as opposed to so many other female celebrities out there.
Fun fact: She’s the daughter of comedian Rob Schneider! You know… SNL, Deuce Bigelow, “YOU CAN DO IT!” in The Waterboy. She’s his kid!
So do yourself a favor and get your hands on this album. You won’t regret that you did and you’ll be listening to it on repeat, mark my words. A voice like hers is one that stands the test of time and I can’t wait to see what lies ahead for her.