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Elviin - Made Of


Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 3 out of 5

ELVIIN is yet another of those self-made success stories whose debut album can be attributed to perseverence, savvy Internet marketing, good friends and genuine talent.

Made Of, the album in question, endured a long journey to fruition. But it’s a worthwhile listen that marks the arrival of an engaging new artist.

It won’t completely blow you away (at least it didn’t us!) but there’s enough quality throughout to suggest the start of something big. And that’s not bad for a performer who was prepared to take a leap of faith by buying a piano he could barely afford and then proceeded to write a set of songs until his fingers bled!

That was two years ago… but within 18 months Elviin had taught himself to play that digital stage piano, was writing and had started to gig.

He then played a few of those early songs to childhood friend Jack Penate, who had also become a performer.

Says Elviin: “I had something I’d written on my iPod, which I played to him and he was like, ‘You’ve gotta get up there and keep doing it’. So I did!”

He played his first gig so fast he nearly passed out during one song, having forgotten to breathe – wanting to get it over with before anyone noticed he was playing piano with only two fingers.

Nevertheless, his stock rose and working alongside other musicians was Elviin’s next step – which not only improved his playing technique but also fuelled his song writing.

A healthy MySpace following came next, followed by tours with Jack and Adele.

Within a short space of time, he found himself in LA with world-renowned producer Tony Hoffer. Between them, they crafted Elviin’s debut album Made Of.

The result is an LP of “all-American positivity” that are piano-heavy, resolutely upbeat no matter how dark the lyrics, and still positively English.

Not every track stands out… but when Elviin gets it right, he’s really quite endearing.

Album opener In Colour, for example, sets the template with a liberal sprinkling of snappy piano chords, finger clicking beats and a soulful, positive set of vocals. It’s a good start.

Second track and single Good Books is a radio friendly slice of songwriting that charts an apologetic, love-struck fool that’s similarly engaging, while album highlight Worth Getting Arrested For drops a slower tempo, some brooding soul and a playful sexuality that’s vaguely reminiscent of Marvin Gaye.

If anything thereafter, the upbeat pianos can threaten to become a little wearying, especially during insanely chirpy moments such as Rise and Control. While some of the slower ballad numbers, such as The Clock, don’t resonate as they should.

But tracks like That Road, Human Nature and Paraphernalia help to ensure that Elviin’s leap of faith was worth it and that anyone who takes a similar leap in buying the album will be suitably rewarded.

Download picks: Good Books, Worth Getting Arrested For, Paraphernalia, Human Nature

Track listing:

  1. In Colour
  2. Good Books
  3. Worth Getting Arrested For
  4. The Sun And I
  5. Rise
  6. That Road
  7. The Clock
  8. Control
  9. Human Nature
  10. Paraphernalia
  11. Subtitles