July 2017 Featured Artist: Elsie and the Vibe
Melting Pot puts the spotlight on artists within the community that are doing something special.
Returning fresh from a long stint of touring across the USA, and being based in New York City, Melbourne-born soul singer Elsie from ‘Elsie and the Vibe’ sat down with us to talk about great experiences overseas, working with musicians she only could have dreamed about, and her most recent release, the self-titled debut EP.
Elsie has been able to call upon some pretty big names during the production for her debut, self-titled EP. Robert Upward shared production credits with Jonathan Dreyfus (Gretta Ray; Lama) and mixing and mastering was prepared by Lindsay Garvina (Eskimo Joe; Thirsty Merc) which has her hitting up high with the heavyweights of the eclectic and ever-present soul scene emerging out of Melbourne of recent times.
But that wasn’t all, some powerful musicians make up ‘The Vibe,’ including: Rob Muinos & Olaf Scott (Saskwatch); Justin Olsson (LANKS; Oh! Pep!), and; Lulu McClatchy (Supergirly), amongst many others.
“I actually got really lucky,” Elsie begins, “The first producer I worked with I actually went to school with (Jonathan Dreyfus).and he’s amazing; he’s a musical genius… when I first decided I wanted to record my music, I got in contact with him and he was completely aligned with my vision, and could see inside my head…”
“Through him, he helped me to organise the band for recording… I’m very, very, very lucky. It made it twenty times better than I ever would have imagined!”
Elsie and the Vibe received a mostly generous and favourable reception throughout their East Coast tour of the USA over the past 12 months. With a soul, jazz and R&B scene filled to the brim over in the states, it really is no real surprise once you hear the power and intensity of Elsie’s vocals and the classic Motown feel of her songwriting and arrangements.
“I’ve been in New York for the past year, so why not play as many places as I can?” She recounts, “I played a few indie festivals… and then I played a few shows in New York – actually, I played a bunch of shows in New York. Towards the end, I played a bunch of the ‘bigger’ venues which was really fun.”
Speaking about her well-received music and the attentive audiences, she encountered overseas, Elsie also makes comment of her own professional development just by being in such an ingrained and vibrant scene with so much history and amazing musicians working in close circles;
“The soul music in New York is incredible. I learnt so, so, so, so, so much,” she recalls, speaking very highly and positively of her experience. “I got to play with so many different musicians. When I play, I like to play with a different variation of the band. I really like that, because it means I get really different influences every time and the songs kind of take a bit of a different form.”
“I think I always knew that I wanted to play music, and I’d always written songs, so ever since I was 13; 14 – it’s something that I did as a release. Like, ‘I’m feeling this way; I need to write a song…”‘
Having spent the past year abroad, Elsie has kept tabs on a rapidly emerging Melbourne soul scene and shares her excitement to be back here at the height of a magnificent soul revival which has come into play in the venues, halls and community radio stations around Melbourne. Our professional opinion is that she will fit right in to the large array of female-fronted Melbourne soul acts, ranging from the old R&B and Motown influenced soul acts right through to the Nu-Soul and more electronic-based vibes.
Elsie and the Vibe’s song ‘Naked’ was shared with us on the day and you can watch the live-captured video below.
Keep an eye on Elsie and the Vibe – who will be launching their heavy, uplifting, Motown-inspired self-titled EP this August, a work four years in the making.
The views expressed in this article are the views of the author and not necessarily the views of Melting Pot.
Author DetailsJosh Forner
Josh Forner is a folk/pop songwriter from Melbourne, Australia and Virginia, USA. Forner was born in Melbourne on July 2 1988, and spent the first 18 months of his life there before moving with his parents to the town of Reston in Virginia, USA. At the age of 3, Forner and his mother returned to Melbourne, where he has stayed ever since.
Josh sings of love, primarily (wow, what a shock right?), but also on his list of ‘hot topics’ are politics, famine, poverty and - of course – landscapes: the folk writer’s favourite.
He’s played with some of Melbourne’s stalwarts including Timothy Cannon, Bridget Pross, Mr Brady, Pro Rata, Gabriel Lynch & Kyle Taylor, and has contributed two of his tracks to non-profit compilation CDs in the past.
Josh’s repertoire continues to grow. He released his first album, a 10-track LP entitled ‘Leading to Nowhere’ at The Workers Club on May 28th, 2013. Forner has since returned to the studio to begin work on a 5-track solo EP to be released by the end of 2013. Following that, he has plans for album number two in 2014.