Sound — 7
A little spacey with a lot of eclectic data and ethereally generated fields, I'll Ease is music for the open-minded and inventive. I'll Ease is the project of singer-songwriter Elizabeth Sharp whose previous works include playing the drums for New Radiant Storm King and the bass in Skinner Pilot. I'll Ease's latest release Turn It Lose on Ionik Records is soul rock draped in techno jeweled soundwaves and slings of digital beats. The lyrics and synth-textured masses vary from repeated loops like in It's A Downward Spiral to glittering fragments clipped together like in Here Comes Trouble (To The Tune Of Pretty Woman). Partly modern avant and partly folk-pop, Hate The Game and Two Lanes Left (All The Way) have flickering embers relatable to Xiu Xiu as the passages roll through chambers of smooth transitions. There are shades of Asian and gypsy influences in When Suddenly, The Evil Twin Arrives, and sleek western roots rock atmospherics in Dear Krazy on a chassis of lightly shaking beats. The big bashing drum strikes of Le Jeux Son Fait resonate boldly, while My Last Tango In Paris has a countrified twang saddled to cheerful gallops. I Think I Might Be In Love Again has catchy whistling phrases liken to Peter Bjorn and John with electro-pop threads woven into the melody's consonance. The songs seem unstructured as they waver continually, creating smoky mists that move comfortably while suspended in the air. Sharp makes modern art in music form.
Lyrics — 7
Sharp's singing becomes an appendage of the avant shaded atmospherics as her words are sewn into the melodic fabrics making it almost impossible to separate her voice from the music. Her lyrics discuss people's weaknesses like in When Suddenly, The Evil Twin Arrives (The Brighton Beach Memoirs) as she tells herself Must be my eyes playing tricks on my mind or my mind playing tricks on my eyes. In Two Left Lanes, Sharp softly murmurs, I'm moving on / You're gonna wake up and I'll be gone You're gonna miss me / I'm moving on. The lyrics are quick snapshots, fragments which when lined up form linear images that connect to one another.
Overall Impression — 7
Elizabeth Sharp's project I'll Ease allows her to see her life from the outside, as if she was writing a screenplay about herself. As a self-contained artist, Sharp shares this quality with Imogen Heap whose one-woman shows have made a lasting impression on audiences. Sharp's ability to present song structures that seem entirely disorganized and yet totally controlled by the actions of one individual, reinforces the belief that one person's vision can make a difference. Starting out her life in music as a drummer, it is the rhythmic movements that stand out in her compositions, and the harmonic masses that move around it. Her melodic sensibilities have avant motifs comparable to Xiu Xiu, lyrics which are completely personal, and obscure patterns that pioneer inventive directions. Sharp's melodic schemes show ingenuity and a talent to explore the unknown.