Elle Varner: Conversational Lush
While a lot of mainstream R&B is scented with a very specific techno, yet hip hop edge, the lyrical electricity Elle Varner possesses makes her a glorious nerd shrouded in a palpable sensuality. Tracks comprised of the occasional drum loops and bright pop that never moves entirely away from a hip hop flavoring blooms with guitars and bass. She tantalizes with her own sense of thoughtful and witty wordplay and if she wants, occasionally crosses over into that whole mainstream thing.
Charismatic and a multi-dimensional modern girl with thoughts on love and lust, “Like A Woman” is a feverish reggae-soaked track. “WTF” is a comedic downer in which she survives having her car broken into only to discover that she has lost her boyfriend to another man. She sings, “I decided to walk home and blow off some steam/I know it’s late but I needed some time to breathe.” She encounters a robber demanding her bag and explains to him over hazy keys and temperamental drums that she’s had a bad day and the thief replies, “I’ll be damned, really it’s too bad/Either way I’m still taking your bag.” Rapid fire spats of drum decorate like glitter the remorseful “Go” as Elle laments a lover. “32 Flavors” is an Ani DiFranco cover about victory and self-assurance in a world seemingly looking the other way. In the middle of the song she declares, “if you out there any you different, don’t let nobody in this world take you away from that because that is all you got.” And it has gotten Elle Varner to a coveted status she most righteously deserves. Born in Los Angeles to parents who were already musicians, Elle was acquainted early in life with music and became self-taught on a variety of instruments. Conversational Lush serves as a free follow-up release to her hit single, featuring J. Cole, “Only Wanna Give It To You.”