“City Lights,” a new single by Most Unlikely & Elle James, really drives, and Elle’s vocals are naturally over-driven and gin-soaked, in the vein of Beth Hart and Janis Joplin. It’s kind of pure raw ability at that point since I’d be hard-pressed to think of how that could even be learned. Guess we would have to ask a vocal coach. Hey RockEra staff, can we do that? Lend me your voices here people!
“City Lights” is anthemic in the spirit of late-2000s rock/love anthems like Lady A’s “I Need You,” with a steady melodic-rock progression. The layering of rhythm guitars has a Chad Kroeger style of production about it, and does that mean Elle and crew are also gracing us from the Great White North? Only time and more thorough bios will tell I suppose. The rhythm guitar tones are tasty, having warm gain, and being rich in harmonics. The drums sound a bit like they may have been programmed, but that’s okay. In these quarantine times, it’s understandable that not everyone would able to get together to record live drums with their bands. “If tears could build a stairway, and everyone’s a lane I’d walk right back to heaven, and bring you home again” sounds a bit like a Zeppelin reference, or Clapton I suppose. In any case, James is strong with the lyrical force and showcases good songcraft. The lead guitar does sound a bit like it was played on a keyboard with a major Les Paul sample library on board, but it generally fits with the home-studio production values of the track. The production is kind of like a modern-day Tom Scholz, and here referring to Boston’s self-produced debut in particular. All in all, good on Elle and crew and we’re sure you’ll be digging into it when it comes out.