Elderbrook at OMEARA / Gig Review
Thursday night at OMEARA was all about progression. Not in a philosophical or genre-pushing sense, but that of a man edging closer to the artist he's destined to be - refining a certain sophistication and baring a little more of his soul than previously heard or seen.
Elderbrook kicks things off with ‘Could’, the biggest tune in his arsenal - setting a precedent and immediately establishing a sense of urgency and anticipation for what's to come. Moving away from the early days of spacious electronic grooves with live instrumentation and a little synth wizardry, this is a one-man show with minimal frills. From the confines of a fluttering laser cell, he delivers a thumping, high-octane blend of deep house and neo-soul, reaching out with meandering melodies equally bound with elation and sorrow - a loneliness and aching only found in the sadistic comfort of a two-day hangover.
Among the familiar are ‘How Many Times’, ‘Closer’ and current single ‘Smile’ - bringing momentary sobriety from a shimmering of pop vibes on the Gorgon City collaboration.
Three new tunes grace the hour, signposting the sonic detour to their January release - ‘Don't You Want’ lures a false sense of downtempo security before unleashing a million gallons of chasing, hard-hitting beats. The sparkling ‘Sunrise’ delivers on earlier promises of deep, foot-shuffling, air-thumping joy - playfully teasing the crowd into submission before reprising on each rapturous applause, while ‘First Time’ introduces new-found levels of empathy and ecstasy, soaked in hedonistic defiance - a soon-to-be banger for the ages.
Vocal deep house is fresh out of rehab and this is the sound of its immediate future. Expect to hear a lot more of Elderbrook in 2017. Catch him live at XOYO in March.
Written by Neil Baggley