Encased in a tender four-track serenade, the debut EP of Melbourne-based singer/songwriter Elme is an introspective journey into how humans process detachment and distance. Departures elegantly combines melodically reflective nuance with thoughtful lyricism, providing the listener with a full-bodied experience from cover to cover.

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Departures is the debut EP from Melbourne artist Elme. Filled with reflection and self-analysis, these tracks provide a platform for introspective thinking. Capturing the complexity of how it feels to depart from thoughts, people, and places, Elme describes the sadness and excitement of leaving his ‘prior comfortable opinions and even certain relationships behind‘. Featuring the co-production of ethereal singer/songwriter Woodes, whose peculiar musical flair cleverly colours the EP, Departures is a spiritual journey of self-discovery.

Closer starts like a lullaby, with the delicately plucked strings guiding Elme’s gorgeous serenade. Ambient noise starts to filter in as a whole new beat kicks in. Dreamy and unexpected, the song floats in the air above you, a little bit out of reach. Telling a tale of simple longing, it draws you back to craving the closeness of someone else. Whether in grief or heartbreak, the song transports you to the little memories – the smells, the sounds, the stars – until long cathedral-like notes carry the song out.

The second track, Kids, seamlessly crawls through from the previous song, with the soothing vocals and entrancing sounds keeping you under a mystic spell. New energy strikes the track, with more pop-influenced tempo and beats engulfing it. There’s a David Gray feel to it, as Elme talks about the complications of growing up compared to the childlike freedom we try so hard to recapture. The outro to the song has a darkness like grinding gears, leaving us sitting under the heavy weight of adulthood.

Somewhere is a funkier tune with lighter vocals and more positive lyrics. It feels like a constructive look at missing someone, with a vibrant undertone that’s full of hope and appreciation. The line ‘in every cloud I see your face in the atmosphere‘ holds the beauty of longing and the desire to grasp onto a fleeting memory.

The final chapter, the title track Departures, is hauntingly reserved. Taking a stripped back approach with subtle flourishes, layered vocals, and steady piano, it has the feeling of something sharp tearing at your heartstrings. The momentum builds slightly, with a spiraling melody that adds to the intensity of the chorus without overwhelming the sentiment. Towards the end of the song are sounds like lightning coupled with electronic currents that pulsate through the rain. The pleas of ‘don’t let me down‘ throughout the track are an acknowledgement of the things we can’t change, but the simultaneous desire to stay in that burdensome bubble to unpack it all.

All of these songs on some level are about self-discovery through introspection. I am fascinated by human reactions, emotions and what they can teach us about who we are and how we relate to others. I tend to work through this process by writing about the past, weaving memories into the songs, all of which came from different origins but seemed to lead to the same destination.

Elme

A sentimental journey through detachment and distance, Elme’s debut EP is an inspiring rumination on human emotion. We don’t doubt that Elme will continue to bring triggering tracks that cut deeply into our minds, while fluidly transporting us on a melodically mystical journey.

Stream Departures below: