Album Review: Elliphant – ‘Living Life Golden’

Swedish singer and songwriter, Elliphant, also known as Ellinor Miranda Salome Olovsdotter, is set to release her second studio album and official American debut album, Living Life Golden, on March 25th. Elliphant has cemented herself as a force to be reckoned with, with her music genre difficult to define through constantly pushing the boundaries and defying expectations. She has released two successful EPs in the United States which saw her work with Diplo, Skrillex and Danish singer, MØ. Living Life Golden sees her take it to the next level, with collaborations with Azealia Banks, Major Lazer and many more musical heavyweights. Her second studio album was supposed to be released in September of last year, but was pushed back so her and her label could release another single prior to the release of the album.

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Image Courtesy of the Artist

The album features her track One More, which was originally released on her third EP and features the amazing vocals from MØ. Prior to the release of One More, Elliphant was known for her high energy tracks which featured her rapping vocals over a fusion of trap beats, so the hypnotic, dark pop track that is One More, surprised a lot of fans and critics alike. The pulled back, mesmerizing track sees one simple electronic beat repeat amongst ambient soundscapes with dreamy harmonies. The track is a real slow burner that has a strong female badass vibe, which was paired with a music video which follows the adventures of Elliphant and MØ, where they run the streets in matching Adidas tracksuits. Living Life Golden also features her biggest hit yet, Love Me Badder, which was released in early 2015. The anthemic track is a seductive, R&B ballad, which features pulsating electronic synths, pounding drums and a powerful, harmonic hook. The free-spirited nature of the track and tropical synths saw Love Me Badder be a huge hit last year when Elliphant played at Bryon Bay’s Splendour In The Grass.

Another groovy tune on the record is Step Down, which features quite aggressive and punchy vocals with upbeat techno. The production is quite drawn back with the main focus being the vocals, but it really takes it to the next level at the end of the track with the addition of fierce electric guitars and emotional screaming from Elliphant. When I first listened to Where Is Home, I was immediately stuck on the opening of the first verse because I could not work out who it remind me of, but I ended up pin pointing it on We Can’t Stop, by Miley Cyrus. The track is absolute gold on its own, which opens with glistening synths and a boom-clap beat. The chorus really picks up with soaring vocals, crooning guitars and delicate piano beats. She also paired up with Twin Shadow, for this track, with the male vocals coming two-thirds in, but in my opinion the track could probably do without his vocals in the background.

Elliphant teams up with Azealia Banks for upbeat track, Everybody. Despite the quite uplifting and rhythmic instrumentals, the vocals in the track are quite satirical, where she discusses the music industry in lines like, “Everybody is the big thing now/everybody is the boss” and Azealia Banks bringing insight with “I ain’t f**king with that industry/All these bitches wanna steal.” The track itself it quite danceable but you can definitely hear the negative vibes when you closely listen to the lyrics. Elliphant goes back to her roots with Not Ready, a track which features strong reggae elements with Caribbean beats. Those tropical vibes can also be found on Thing Called Life, which shows Elliphant’s punchy and sassy vocals and is another uplifting, athematic track.

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Image Courtesy of the Artist

A big stand out on the album is, Spoon Me, which was another pre-release off the album, which saw Elliphant team up with Skrillex. The track is a perfect combination of the two artists and you can instantly imagine yourself getting down in the middle of the festival dancefloor. Spoon Me features a stuttering, deep instrumental drop infused with Elliphant’s pounding, reggae vocals and is an instant party starter. I was expecting something similar for Love Me Long, which is a collaboration with Major Lazer and Gyptian, but instead the track features a more laid-back, pop vibe. The main focus is on Elliphant’s entrancing vocals which sits on top of Gyptian’s backing vocals and electronic Carribean soundscapes filled with tropical beats.

Living Life Golden sees Elliphant experiment with multiple genres, expanding on her reggae roots and experimenting with dark pop and deeper trap tracks with the help of electronic heavyweight producers. Despite the huge names of the collaborations that feature on Living Life Golden, Elliphant proves on tracks like Hit And Run and Thing Called Life, that she stand on her own with her exceptional, raw talent. You will definitely find something you like amongst the bangers and emotive electro-pop.

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Photo By MyriamSantos