Ellyn Oliver – Ring the Bells (2020)

While modern Christmas music is also fun, there is nothing quite like the old Christmas classics. Ellyn Oliver is providing a new breath of life to these classics with her EP Ring the Bells. Adding her own flair to the songs, she offers you the perfect soundtrack for a cosy lockdown festive season.

Created during the UK lockdown, Oliver continues to incorporate gospel, folk, jazz, soul, blues and pop into her sound. Having started the year as Danny Kyle Open Stage Celtic Connections winner, the pandemic threw her 2020 plans into disarray. Perseverance won out and she continues on her musical journey in her bedroom and now is unleashing her Christmas spirit for everyone to hear.

The EP starts with ‘Magnify’ and its paced opening full of piano lines and horns. The melody sets a great vibe from the first moment with a flair of jazzy goodness resting in the notes. Oliver’s vocals are a gentle touch at the start but gain power over the chorus. The folk-pop vibe of the track is great and lets the lyrics really shine. The performance has a catchy feeling that makes you want to sing along even if Christmas songs are not your thing.

The title track ‘Ring the Bells’ has a more traditional jazz sound to the base of the melody. The shuffling drums and the piano line have a smoky feel to them. However, this is blended with some Christmas tones from the organ. While there is a jazz vibe to the base of the melody, the vocals are bluesy. There is a velveteen feeling to them as they wrap you in warmth. The flow of the track makes you think of sitting by a warm fire while the snow gently drifts down outside.

The EP ends with ‘O Holy Night’ and a beautiful piano line. The melody is stripped back for this Christmas classic while Oliver’s vocals wrap around you like a cloak. The minimal melody highlights her voice which retained some jazzy blues. At times, her vocals send shivers through you and make you a little emotional. This is an amazing rendition of the song and melds powerful vocals with this wonderful hint of blues.

Ellyn Oliver breathes some new life into classic Christmas tracks on her EP ‘Ring the Bells’. Through each track, she infuses her jazz and blues influence for a new take that is wonderful to listen to. ‘O Holy Night’ is a treat for the ears and will leave you feeling emotional.

Find out more about Ellyn Oliver on her website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Spotify.

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