Somewhere between soul, hip-hop, jazz and funk lies Ten Pound Elephant's self-titled EP, five tracks that stand alone as complete, diverse and distinct pieces, but that also hold together to an extent. Ten Pound Elephant's sound is characterized by idiosyncratic funk guitar, smooth sax and tight, straight-ahead drums. The instrumentation is as compelling and sensual as the subject matter, which is personal yet easily relatable. It might be an unfair comparison, but writer, MC and vocalist Ebony "Isis" Booth, with her soulful voice, effortless femininity and almost aggressive confidence, is instantly reminiscent of Lauryn Hill, especially on "Buckle Down" and "Blood Stained Bills." Nothing here is groundbreaking, necessarily, but it's both adventurous and easy to listen to, and that's a rare combination. Thematically, the music definitely moves somewhere, but it doesn't quite feel like there's a finish line. Like five minutes of sex, it's good but leaves you wanting more — which is, well, kind of what an EP is supposed to do.
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