- Words Yazzi Gokcemen
Ellis Evason's new album honours old-school hip-hop, bold storytelling and alternative genre-blending.
Alternative hip-hop is an ambiguous label. Hearing the new, genre-blending album by rising UK artist Ellis Evason, however, this ambiguity is fitting. Titled SINS OF THE FATHER, the Swindon musician’s second studio album champions the defining sounds of hip-hop’s golden era and fuses them with his eclectic range of musical influences.
Over 17 tracks, Ellis Evason shakes up his old-school rap with everything from jazz instrumentals and soul samples to melancholic piano and dark, industrial soundscapes as the project progresses. Dividing the album into two distinct, yet cohesive parts, Evason explores personal turmoil. The first features funky jazz riffs and is notably more upbeat, whilst the second is charged with a certain passionate frustration, heard viscerally through vocals and twisted synths. These evocative soundscapes highlight the spoken narrative of each track, a narrative which sheds light on the struggle of overcoming abuse – whether that be in a relationship or at the hands of the UK’s state system.
SINS OF FATHER has been the most challenging project of Evason’s musical career but, supported by the MOBO Awards (Help Musicians Fund), it is also the most ambitious. Reflecting on its creation, he shares: “It is deeply personal and deeply cathartic. My true hope is that it will resonate with people who have suffered at the hands of systemic oppression and household abuse…I hope it can prompt some needed conversation.”
Before this latest drop, Ellis Evason had already graced the BFI Southbank stage and been longlisted for Glastonbury’s Emerging Talent index. Now that the versatility of his musical talent is on full, public display in an hour-long record, the Swindon-based musician is poised to make big waves in the scene this year.