Cathartic is an appropriate term to describe the new sounds being made by Sydney based troubadour Roland Ellis and his musical cohorts – Ernest Ellis & The Panamas. With a separation from their label and a slight alteration to the band’s name their new direction has been firmly established and their latest LP Kings Canyon is a grandiose affair of intricately layered melodies that are delivered with a refreshing honesty and a healthy spattering of melancholia.
Opener “Sons & Daughters” builds slowly with a dense mix of swirling synth & guitars and Ellis’ echoing vocals that are all encompassing. “Great Sky” unfolds in a similar fashion to the folktronic tunes of Hunting, with the gorgeous soundscapes punctuated by Ellis’ moving tones that cut through the shimmery atmos and manage to be both haunting and comforting. Latest single “Save Me” is a catchy number that is the only real radio friendly moment on the album with it’s upbeat aesthetic that is instantly gratifying. “Here She Comes” ends the record on a more sombre note with it’s ballad-esque feel as Ellis passionately croons over a miasma of tinkling noise.
Kings Canyon is a fantastic album that only reveals its true self with multiple listens. Ellis has a talent for constructing striking melodies and he’s pieced together a fantastic collection of songs that unfold at a snails pace and require patience and perseverance in order to discover the beauty that lies beneath the hazy atmospherics.
Ernest Ellis & The Panamas are a rare breed of Aussie talent with their intimate, integral approach to creating music. Kings Canyon will take your breath away with its dreamy, ethereal tones that uplift and inspire.
Review Score: 8/10