Two Names Make a Right
Hailing from the land of “Degrassi Junior High,” hockey and ice beer, Canada’s Elsiane (a cute portmanteau of the duo’s names) exquisitely emulates a tried and tested sound, while getting away with the glory. Elsianne Caplette and Stephane Sotto combine an evident love for Bjork, Frou Frou and maybe even a little Sigur Ros (to keep the Euro-theme), but there’s a slight uncertainty on the face of their album Hybrid; there’s something unique peering through the ambient visage of this release.
The first track, “Vaporous,” keeps true to its name with reverberated ride cymbals tapping along subtle strings and enhancing the sensation of freshly applied Vicks Vapor Rub.
There’s something truly and oddly addicting about the entrance of Caplette’s pillow-soft vocals – not so much the Icelandic drawl of Bjork, but an enticing mishmash of a sultry native Peruvian meets a lonely Canadian sweetheart.
Despite 11 tracks, Hybrid follows in the steps of many ambient/electronic/trip-hop albums and doesn’t care to vary in actual tempo, mood or melody for that matter. That’s not to say that Elsiane is incapable of diversity; “Paranoia” showcases the duo at their most cinematic and climactic with battle theme-like toms rolling through Caplette’s narrative.
Hybrid proves a strong debut for a duo that, for now, dabbles in the down-tempo niche of the electronic community. If Elsiane wants to thrive in a momentum-building genre, a pop approach should be evident in their future. A heavily evolved/upbeat sophomore release will make listeners appreciate Hybrid even more in retrospect.