Thursday, February 11, 2021

The Ella Sisters sing an ode to young romance on their track ‘James Dean’

With its harmonious piano motifs and slick vocals, ‘James Dean’ by the Ella Sisters is a perfect tribute to the ups and downs of young romance. The excruciating love story, accompanied by hauntingly brilliant electronic beats doesn’t seem far from the likes of Taylor Swift’s 2014 album ‘1989’.

Within the first few bars of the track, the listener becomes immersed in this compelling love story. The listener is lured in by the melancholy piano before being thrown into a swimming pool of energetic electronica, very much establishing the general theme of the song. On singing ‘I’m not afraid of all your fears and your ghosts’, the Ella Sisters don’t ignore the flawed parts of a superficially glorious romance; a title like ‘James Dean’ would perhaps indicate the story of a Hollywood, fairy-tale, jealousy-provoking love. Using their clever lyrics, they encapsulate the wonder and sometimes imperfect nature of an unsteady and spontaneous relationship, while simultaneously making the listener long for their own ‘James Dean’.

As the track progresses, the listener is taken on a rollercoaster of romance. The repeated lyric ‘you’re a James Dean looking like you’re 17’, is the epitome of an addictive pop hook - it refuses to leave your head, leaving you quietly humming it under your breath hours after listening. The slick vocals and smooth transitions between verse and chorus give the impression that these talented sisters have been in the industry far longer than they actually have. 

‘But in the chaos and the tragedy, I got to know a James Dean’. This line is so beautifully simplistic, depicting the entire bittersweet love story in a mere seven words. Despite the ‘chaos and the tragedy’, getting to know a ‘James Dean’, was enough. Indeed, it was perhaps the ‘chaos and the tragedy’ that made getting to know a ‘James Dean’ even more spectacular. The subsequent bridge will leave the listener longing for a love of the kind mentioned in the song, with its slight change in melody, not too drastic but just enough to introduce a new perspective to the song. 

‘James Dean’ by the Ella Sisters is a pop sensation. It’s the kind of song a protagonist in a film would dance to in the rain with her own ‘James Dean’, showing a romance so dual in its nature but even more glorious for it. A listen to the rest of the Ella Sisters’ discography is essential after listening to this beautifully bittersweet track. I think it can be widely agreed that the Ella Sisters are certainly ones to watch for 2021.

- Daisy Rought-Oram



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