By The Kiara Elles
This four track EP from Leeds' The Kiara Elles is a bright and breezy, eclectic blend of pop, indie and electro that's far from life-changing, but will get you tapping your feet and humming along in no time. First though, there's frontwoman Chiara Lucchini's vocals to contend with.
On EP-opener and title track 'Odio,' her preferred singing style is an insanely twitchy vocal patter that'll either charm you with its enthusiasm, or irritate the hell out of you. If her hyperactive vocals put your teeth on edge, then you best switch off now, because her vocals don't get anymore subdued. However, if you can stomach it or, even better, if you're won over by her chirpiness, then 'Odio' is funky indie-rock, with bouncy drumbeats and languid guitar and bass lines that are pure, indie-rock cool. Just when it's in danger of becoming unbearably bubbly, The Kiara Elles factor in a bass pulse that prevents 'Odio' from becoming too upbeat.
The Kiara Elles' twitchy guitar rhythms gain a buzzy, electro-pop edge on 'Night Terrors.' The band whole heartedly embrace this cheesier slant on their sound, layering on the squeaky backing cries of "freak show! Freak show!" and wrapping the whole thing in a shiny, pop-music veneer. If the trilling backing vocals and slippery-slickness don't grate on you, then 'Night Terrors' is a slice of silly, electro-pop fun.
On 'Supergroupie' The Kiara Elles break out of their short, sharp, bucking rhythms and settle into hand-clap studded guitar grooves and smoother vocal lines. The chorus has simple, almost lullaby-like vocals that will gently urge you to sing along, although the lack of aggressive hooks means that once 'Supergroupie' has come to a close, you won't be struck by the desire to hear it again. It's an enjoyable, fizzy sing-song, that's lacking that one killer hook to keep the listener coming back for more.
Opinion-dividing vocals are once again on the cards when it comes to EP-closer 'Rust.' Lucchini's whispery vocals have the potential to irritate, and because they're set so high in the mix and are so exaggeratedly breathy, there's no getting away from them. If they get on your nerves, then 'Rust' is pretty much impossible to listen to. That sing-song quality is again present in the chorus; the winding, multi-layered vocals and frequent hand-claps will coax you into at least humming along to 'Rust.'
Built on a cool, but basic bass groove, 'Rust' slowly evolves into shimmering, gentle pop chorus that's refreshingly undemanding.
The Kiara Elles' 'Odio' EP borrows elements from pop, electro and indie, to create a light, breezy and summery sound laced with simple vocal lines. While there's no killer hooks or stick-in-your-head choruses, 'Odio' is an enjoyable listen that's guaranteed to leave you with a contented smile on your face.