A few weeks back I received a promo from the good people over at Hobo Camp with the upcoming “Deep Clues” LP from Brian Ellis. I knew as soon as I opened the package that this was going to be something amazing and serious work Ellis. Knowing the output of whats come from the label thus far, I immediately dropped the needle down and had an “oh shit” reaction. Fast forward to the present and the label has official announced the project and listed the LP for pre order via their site which deserves a serious listen. If you’re familiar with Brian Ellis then you know, but if not, then do yourself a favor and do so now.
“Brian Ellis returns with his most personal and well-rounded LP yet, “Deep Clues”, an 8-track project seamlessly encapsulating elements of funk, soul, adult-oriented rock (AOR), boogie, and electro. Following up his last full-length opus (“Mirror/Mirror”), “Deep Clues” showcases Brian’s studio and lyric songwriting prowess, using a variety of analog keyboards, drum machines, and guitars to create a singer/songwriter approach to modern funk and modern soul. Recorded and arranged to retain a live feel, each track takes you on a new journey through Brian’s mind and experiences, creating very emotional and personal sentiments, and commentating on and commemorating modern life, love, and music.”
“Deep Clues” starts the LP off with a vintage vibe, an introductory Rhodes-esque theme reminiscent of a bygone televised media era…before detouring right into the full-length track “Bulletproof”, a warm and hazy ode to being steadfast in love. “Here I Am” truly takes on a library-prog-jazz-funk guise, dowsed in glowing synth layers and accompanied by Brian’s shredding solo guitar work, and displaying unfettered and uncompromising wit within the lyrics. “Brand New Love” is an arena rock-style ballad, featuring “back to back” harmonic guitar leads and lyrics that personify the feelings that arise when entering a new love affair. “My Favorite Song” is the lead single of the LP, an anthem for the fantasy California lifestyle of parties and free living, accompanied by your favorite tunes. Cruising along like it’s title suggests, “Night Drive” weaves together hypnotic guitar lines, while chugging through Ellis’ manic worries and thoughts, attempting to get away from it all. “Fantasy” is a powerful critique of modern culture and our ability to edit or shape our realities to suit whatever it is we already believe or want to believe. “Never Had Nothin’” is a sparse and heavy drum machine and synth closer, a down and out anthem that beckons those end-of-the-night lighters to come out and light up the air, cherishing the past, present and future.”