Blank Out - Ellen Andrea Wang
Three years after her critically acclaimed debut, "Diving" (2014), Ellen Andrea Wang returns with "Blank Out" on Jazzland Recordings.
Her accompanists on this sonic adventure are Erland Dahlen (drums) and Andreas Ulvo (Keyboards), while Wang provides vocals, bass and some keys. The music that pours out of this trio is eclectic, fearlessly dipping into different pools of genre to create a potent sound cocktail that moves between minimalist-inflected jazz funk pop (acid jazz meets Haim), Nordic atmospherics (insert Nordic ECM album of choice), 70s singer-songwriter (think Joni Mitchell or Rickie Lee Jones), and hip-hop (moving in an Outkast direction). Wang's vocals are pure, clean, and expressive, and are in total contrast to some of the down-and-dirty basslines she conjures, while Dahlen and Ulvo weave a sonic tapestry that never puts a note, beat or texture wrong. A key example is the lead single "Change of Heart" a song that is bubbling over with Erlend Dahlen's driving drums and Wang's own grooving bass topped with Andreas Ulvo's chattering electric piano lines, and crystalline synths and pads. It bristles with an energetic optimism, perfect for long summer evenings and soundtracking memories.
Another key contributor to the album is Martin Hagfors, a singer, guitarist and songwriter (who has worked with The National Bank, Motorpsycho, Jaga Jazzist and countless others). Here he contributes the lion's share of the lyric credits, as well as providing a spoken word performance on the track "Peace Prize".
Ellen Andrea Wang has contributed to many Norwegian scene projects, and has received critical acclaim for her own solo debut, "Diving" (2014) and genre-bending band, Pixel. In addition, she has worked with the likes of Sting, Manu Katché, and Marilyn Mazur.
"A commanding presence in any ensemble she plays in, her soft tone and vocal precision are always counterbalanced with heavy and assertive grooves from her double-bass, interlocking with drummers, jazz, pop and groove alike."
- The Guardian