I've been listening to Eliza Shaddad for a couple of years now and yet still I was surprised by the progression and brilliance of her 2014 EP Waters. Four tracks that wrapped up what I already knew about Eliza, her knack of making a beautiful song and singing it beautifully' but also added an altogether new, expansive sound to her repertoire. The result was spellbinding and the EP is easily one of the years finest.
The title track to that release "Waters" is the first time Eliza has used a 'full band' sound and it's absolutely bloody stunning, transcending her 'traditional folk' roots with an adventurous, darker turn. As a listener you immediately get swept up amongst the stirring melody and as soon as Eliza's world-weary tones join the ever present drum march and ringing guitar patterns you cant help but skip a beat. One of those whoa, where did that come from moments.
"You For Me" really is as pretty a moment as I've heard all year, a genuine love song with ringing guitar patterns and a delicate, haunting backdrop which slowly introduces Eliza's stunning vocals, gorgeous and pristine, here coupled with lyrics as optimistic and heartfelt as you're ever likely to hear. "You For Me" is the sort of track that will bring you to a stand still whatever you are doing - simply magical. The other two tracks on the release stand up equally, just as beautiful are "Alright Again" and "When We", which wrap those pure tones in stark, circling guitar patterns and Eliza's timeless vocal tone. The result is a lovely, warming sensation that will leave you feeling better than were some twenty minutes earlier. You can't ask for more than that.
Eliza has just completed her first UK headlining tour, I couldn't make the London show this time so I'll have to hope it was good as her summer EP launch. Looking ahead, 2015 might be a transition year before perhaps an album in 2016, either way Eliza Shaddad should be a name on your lips.