The essence of upcoming singer-songwriter Elle King is epitomized in her single, “Ex’s & Oh’s,” from her debut album Love Stuff. King’s attitude is as sharp as her signature winged eyeliner and she pens lyrics to match.
It is difficult to classify Love Stuff into something as restrictive as a genre; the rasp of Elle King’s voice can be rightfully compared to that of Amy Winehouse, but the roots of her album are southern rock. The sound, though, is much too organic to be played on modern country radio. Plus, King’s lyrics are blunt, honest, and unapologetic, which, as we know, Keith Hill would never allow a woman to be on country radio.
My hands are dirty and my heart is cold / the boys I’ve been with say I got no soul when I /
I meet another honey at the bar / I’ll think it’s funny when I break his heart
I am not sure where exactly Elle King will fit into mainstream radio, but I know that we need her more than ever. There is always room for a strong, independent, self-assured woman in music, especially one whose writing is all but unrivaled. Love Stuff has the potential to be huge, and to bring a true musician and writer to the forefront of the music scene.
A photo from 7/20/15, about two months after writing this,
when I saw Elle King in concert at the Bowery Ballroom in NYC.
She was just as incredible as I expected.