Ego Ella May is a South London neo-soul singer and songwriter whose album So Far is due for release this September on Tru Thoughts Records.
“Tea & Sympathy” is the first single released from So Far, and it perfectly showcases May’s slinky, spacey sound. The track, produced by fellow Londoners Wu-Lu and Budgie, opens with a bit of a fakeout: a polyrhythmic beat that hints at Neptunes-esque eccentricity before being consumed by a forest of glittering synth, organ, and echoing woodblock hits. The guitar strums and high pitched woofs of the intro remain faintly in the background, mostly as an accent to the lush surroundings. A smooooth bassline, something that you might hear on a Flying Lotus slow jam (if such a thing were to exist), and a stuttering drumbeat hold the groove together. When May starts singing, she sounds almost dazzled by her opulent aural surroundings, repeatedly returning to the mantras “Makes no sense to me” and “Makes no sense to you.” Her performance on the track mirrors So Far‘s artwork, which features May looking over her shoulder at the camera, her face partially obscured by a flower, the whole image blurred by water droplets. Her singing, layered and refracted, is mysterious, as if coming from the depths of some hazy combined greenhouse/funhouse. “Tea & Sympathy” is an atmospheric gem of a track.