In which ELEN NEVER SLEEPS peels back a few of those dreamy layers he’s built his sound on up to this point to let his voice take center spotlight. The Blue Dogma EP isn’t a major shift in the guy’s style, but on this ready-to-download release he’s stripped the backing music and bit in favor of more emphasis on his voice. Now instead of sounding like Wild Nothing, ELEN NEVER SLEEP resembles the more night-centric flights of Jeremy Jay, down to their voices sounding surprisingly similar. The EP as a whole ends up a mixed bag – this vocal-focused approach sometimes leads to the tracks feeling a bit boney and treading water, like on the sleepy opener “Some Surreal Scene.” Yet elsewhere this move pays off, like on the gorgeous title track, which pits ELEN’s at-times high-pitched voice against some chest-thumping drum beats. Overall, the China Blue EP remains the better release, though Blue Dogma (dude likes the color blue) has its moments (another one, by the way, would be the “chorus” to “Lera”). Listen below.
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