Silken vocals for turbulent times
Tommy Monroe
17:00 4th August 2020

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Pop singer Ella Vos is the type to wear her heart on her sleeve: all material she presents is a reflection of events that have happened in her life. Through her music she has touched on topics including loneliness, depression, heartbreak, motherhood and self-healing. Turbulence is no different. The album which was written after a failed marriage and cancer diagnosis is about overcoming obstacles and fighting for survival. To truly appreciate what Vos has created, one must know her story. On the album, she uses her pain to create something special while saying goodbye to what was once a turbulent chapter of her life. 

Opening track ‘Dreaming, backwards’ contains many compelling elements, though Vos is in no rush to unveil them. Instead, She carefully sets the rhythm with her first verse before introducing instruments that make the rest of the song a delight to the ears. Although her lyrics are personal, there’s a spice of relatability in them. 

The memorable songs on Turbulence are the darker ones: ‘Dancing Underwater’, ‘Mistakes, they catch up’ and ‘Trial by Fire’ thrum with lyrics that share deeper meanings and themes of reflection about life, and personal situations. “I’m tired of dancing underwater” she sings gently, almost pleadingly. It's a solemn note that ends the album: "go on and catch me / ‘cause I'm so tired trying to run from my mistakes” she sings in her closing lines.

The piano and the synth play a major role in many of the songs on Turbulence; it makes the guitar riffs that make up the bedrock of 'State of Emotion' and 'Carousel' feel unexpected. Whatever the instrument, each song switches from pre-chorus to chorus in a rousing manner as one can’t tell what elements will be introduced to make the next part even more thrilling. And where there's no pre-chorus? Vos makes sure the verse has a striking end.

Ella Vos’ first intent while crafting records is to express herself, and her second is to connect with people who can relate. Her most successful tunes are songs people have discovered and connected with, not songs that were heavily promoted. At some point in life, most people will experience rough days, weeks, or years. As Vos says: "there’s always turbulence”. Turbulence is the kind of album to listen to when life throws struggles your way. On Ella Vos’ sophomore LP, comfort can be found in her silken vocals, relatable lyrics, and rhythmic style. 

Turbulence is out now via AWAL Recordings.

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