ELLene’s debut EP “Mad Maria” from 2020 sounds way too good to be a debut EP. That’s because it kind of isn’t one. It may be the first work that “ELLe” and “Ené” have made together, but seperately they’ve made more stuff before. The singers ELLe and Ené are diverse and talented in their own ways, and formed the pop duo ELLene in 2019 by combining their powers (“Elle and Ene, which have been steadily showing their presence in their respective activities, have formed a unit to make a leap forward”).
Ené, one half of the duo, sounds like this:
She has a pretty voice and makes relaxing music, or as she describes on her website: “Ambient music that you can hear if you clear your mind. Words and sounds will be for you. snuggle up over” (auto-translated quote). She is also a member of the band “V.I.P.E.R.S.” (together with the artist/producer Gabi who produces both Ené, ELLe and ELLene), which doesn’t sound much like her solo work, which in turn doesn’t sound much like ELLene.
ELLe, the other half of the duo, sounds like this:
On her debut album from 2018 she blends electronic music with rock, hiphop and a diverse range of emotions. Her music is described like this on the website of her record label: “With the theme of “Monologue Music” originally developed, you can skillfully jump words on the track with a wide range of word sense, from poisonous to free-spirited lyrics.[…]” (auto-translated quote).
And when ELLe and Ené go together to become “ELLene” they sound like this:
On their debut EP “Mad Maria”, ELLene is like a hyped-up version of the two members ELLe and Ené. A fun-oriented supergroup where every song is straightforward and hits hard. On the first track of the EP, “Lower Your Head”, you’re being introduced to the duo in an intimate way, and even if I’m having a hard time understanding all the lyrics of the EP, I get a sense of their vibe: ELLe and Ené are really cool and right in your face with it. They’re possibly even too cool for Japan. The lyrics seem to be inspired both by pop music and rap, and deliver simple, genuine and free-thinking messages with a confident attitude and a high level of charisma. The production value is high and ELLene gives new life to well-known electronic sounds, which gives the EP a timeless freshness. ELLe and Ené sing softly and rythmically, often in harmonies, and always with a professional and clean sound. “Mad Maria” is a solid and interesting EP, and ELLene is something more than the usual but still easy to understand, so don’t miss out on this piece of art.