Elley Duhé is self described as not having "one song of the same ingredient," and that is apparent in her debut EP, DRAGON MENTALITY. The 6-track project is an eclectic blend of styles, all tied together with Duhé's uniquely soulful voice. The singer released her first single, "immortal" in 2017, and found major success with her song "Happy Now," currently sitting at over 25 million streams on Spotify. Hailing from an island off the coast of Alabama, she has the kind of sultry rasp in her voice that pairs perfectly with pop and EDM tracks, but has chosen to take her artistry in a slightly more eclectic direction with DRAGON MENTALITY.
The EP begins with "LOST MY MIND," which features light, bubbling synths and pulsing chords. The melody on the chorus sounds like something Sia would write, and Duhé's voice cuts right through the track to the forefront of the mix. The next song is "FEVER" and takes an unexpected turn with heavy Bollywood influence. Percussion drives the track with anticipated rhythms, propelling it forward through Duhé's relaxed verse vocals. Unexpected adlib notes add to the mystery, making the song sound like the soundtrack to a fever dream.
"WAY DOWN LOW" comes next, which is lyrically motivational and speaks to someone who has hit rock bottom. This song is delightfully surprising, as the title draws the mind to a song to a dance track about getting low at a club. Duhé instead sings of hope and fighting for the people who need it most.
"COUNTERFEIT" brings a change in tone, and begins with theatrical scaling vocals. The unmanicured sound to Duhé's voice adds heat to the track, especially on the line "Gods only cry when caught in a lie." The outro is a spectacle for the ears, featuring instrumentals that belong in an opera house.
The next track, "$$$$," brings a whole new energy to the table. Think Fiddler on the Roof meets modern pop culture. Unique sounds are sprinkled throughout, including gunshots and riffs from a lone violin. The percussion sounds DIY, as if kitchen pots and pans and chains were used to create the track. Duhé's voice carries an inventive melody that brings all the elements of the song together.
The final track is titled "STARZ," and it's potentially the best song in the project. The chords go between major and minor, adding depth and giving an overall multidimensional feel. "STARZ" is a gorgeously emotional song, and has a melody that unearths feelings buried deep inside. Duhé belts the lyrics,
"The stars don't the same as they did, I'll tear them all down from the black ceiling."
All in all, this EP is an impressive demonstration of what Elley Duhé is capable of as an artist. Diversely influenced, she managed to create a wide variety of sounds and still have them come together into one powerful collection. Check out DRAGON MENTALITY and catch her live at one of her many upcoming shows.