The 28-year old Norwegian bassist and singer Ellen Andrea Wang is currently on tour with her new album “Diving”. It reminds me a lot of the genre-crossing Becca Stevens in her compositions which can be at times jazzy, then again more rock-oriented, singer/songwriter-like or on the folky side.
Ellen recently joined drummer Manu Katché‘s band and she is also heading the band Pixel which has won the UK Music Video Awards for “Call Me”. Her band members Andreas Ulvo on keys (working also for Mathias Eick) and Erland Dahlen on drums (Nils-Petter Molvaer, Eivind Aarset) and Ellen successfully connect and combine elements from all kinds of genres to a dynamic mix. Her angel-like voice can entrap you, yet it also has some unsettling qualities.
The opening track to her solo debut, “Air”, sounds like it is culled from the soundtrack to “The Lord Of The Rings” complete with her fairy-induced vocals and with “Brighter Days” and “Follow Me” she is blithely reworking the best of the 80s, complete with added background vocals and antique keys. The distorted vocals on “Holding On” let her dive into some dodgy spheres.
Her bass playing is prominently featured on “Fjord Ferry”, a moody and contemplative piece with an ethereal melody and hymn-like vocals. Not resting in one mood or genre, she gets quiet rocky on “Perfect Danger” and then again very soft and tender on the endearing “Sacred”. The 80s are back for “Heart Beat” which has a very catchy refrain, and a meditative piano-bass duo is also on board (“Blood”). At times, Rickie Lee Jones shines through on a moment or two.
Ellen Andrea Wang plays Berlin tomorrow and Schloss Elmau on November 2nd. She is also touring Sweden and Norway with Pixel in October and November and she is on tour with Manu Katché, stopping for example in Istanbul (Oct 22nd), Luxemburg (Oct 29th), or London (Nov 17th).