Ella Blame
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Ella Blame

Milwaukee, WI | Established. Jan 01, 2016 | SELF

Milwaukee, WI | SELF
Established on Jan, 2016
Solo Electronic Alternative




"Review of "Bitter Tears""

Ella Blame comes from a different place entirely. She's one of the most original musicians I've ever heard. Honestly, listening to her CD Baby clips will give you a better impression than I can explain in words…Her performance on "Bitter Tears" (from her 2008 album of the same name) sounds like Sarah Brightman on two different kinds of acid, and when Sarah announced that her next record was going to piss off her record label, I hoped it'd sound a lot more like this. You've got drama already from the title and strings, and then those vocals come in, processed into the uncanny valley, operatic and brassy and commanding. The music has plenty of twists, of course, but this song's all about the singing…These don't even begin to sum her music up, though, so again, just go to CD Baby and listen. I sound like a shill and I guess, in this case, I am. This is worth it though - Sarah Morayati - Self as Fractal

"Review of "Bitter Tears""

Ella Blame is one of the most difficult to define artists I’ve listened to in a while. Just when you think you’re flying on a magic carpet you’re in that Jamiroquai video where the floor moves; halfway between a silvery Christmas jingle and a snowy coke dream. Whimsical as all hell, Blame’s Bitter Tears album is an over-the-rainbow collection of electronic and ambient tracks bordering on the psychedelic and the ethereal. With a handful of international collaborators, the album has a variety of sounds and instruments ranging from Indian flutes to Celtic folk all generously sprinkled in Blame’s pixie dust. Her highly robotic yet strangely sweet voice goes in and out throughout the album with operatic presence. - Alexandra Kain - Dig This Real, Issue 14

"Review of "Bitter Tears""

Imagine a cross between Laurie Anderson and Bjork and you’re not far from the voice of Ella Blame, an idiosyncratic singer who employs assorted electronic musicians for her second solo release.

There’s a certain vulnerability to Blame’s singing style. Her voice sounds fragile, peculiar and unquestionably strange at times. Siouxsie Sioux and Happy Rhodes are others who come to mind, although Blame is difficult to pin down. It’s not the most immediately accessible voice, but it has its charms and very quirky eccentricities. Her warbling on “Incurable”, for example, sounds almost otherworldly.

The material seems to fit her range – a sort of hypnotic artsy electronica that is heavy on synths and electronic percussion, yet there is enough soul and seductive nuance within to lift it beyond standard techno.

Blame’s delivery is intimate, beguiling, and sometimes a tad scary (that’s what makes it fun). The overall musicianship on Bitter Tears is mesmerizing in a weird way, underscoring the strengths of a strange and unique voice. Not quite goth, not a cabaret vamp, but somewhere in between. - Mark Newman - Progression Magazine, Issue 55

"Review of "Bitter Tears""

Ella Blame continues to make edgy yet accessible music. She's still a strong presence vocally and is not afraid of experimenting. The densely throbbing "Cyberlover" is stuff to be proud of. Blame is not one to take an easy way out when she can throw a curveball. The spooky "Incurable" tiptoes delicately round its melody like Björk can do. "Bitter Tears" is haunted and dramatic, and Blame's acrobatic vocals don't let it down. It's another song that would easily fail in less assured hands. The closing "Hymn of Goodbye" is a suitable song to end the album. It's almost celestial and sweet, Blame's vocals angelic.
- Anna Maria Stjärnell - the Ectophiles' Guide

"Review of "Bitter Tears""

Ella Blame (Milwaukee, WI) was born into a family of musicians and was already singing when she was just 3 years old! Before she decided to become a singer, her biggest passion was painting (and it still is a big passion for her). At the age of 6 she started playing violin. She has an incredible vocal range: her voice covers the entire baritone, tenor and contralto ranges and exceeds the upper limit of the soprano range. She can produce sounds that are very similar to synthesizers, with no effects. Sometimes angelic, sometimes satanic, the many colors of her voice can be described as Billie Holiday meets Bjork and Loreena McKennit… yes these three names together sound very absurd, you just have to hear it for yourself.

Ella has two solo albums to date. The first one “Ineffable Desire” came out a few years back. She recently released her second album called ”Bitter Tears”. Her music is described by many as ethereal/ambient and free form for some parts. A lot of the lyrics are pretty dark but yet very straight forward and brave. On both of her albums Ella had the opportunity to work with noted talented musicians from all over the world including Canada, Japan, India and Germany. For the most part, Ella works with Michael D. Temple also from Milwaukee, WI. When Michael found out about Ella he contacted her via e-mail and their collaboration began. Michael plays keyboards, guitar, bass and drums, but he says his primary instruments are bass and keyboards. Being a computer programmer and electronics engineer gave ways for Michael to better exercise analog and digital audio engineering.

Shinji Imai, from Tokyo Japan, contacted Ella the same way Michael did. Ella wrote vocals and lyrics on his songs and the result was stunning. Shinji is a very talented musician who studied jazz guitar, contemporary music and music theory in Tokyo. Ella and Shinji co-wrote most of the songs on her second CD.

Ella was awarded in 2007 by the Toronto Exclusive Magazine, with “Best Album Cover” for the cover of her first CD “Ineffable Desire” But this is not all, in 2005, she had 9 songs featured from her first album, in an independent movie by Jenkev Productions. The film is titled “Discover Me”. It examines an internet community’s impact on the formation of modern relationships.

Right from the first song “Cyberlover” you will feel like you entered a hidden territory where there is a lot to discover. As if you are listening to a modern day Billie Holiday, you’ll find that it is not just the well written lyrics and her voice that create this feeling but it is also her phrasing and intonations. The song “If I Could” is a very good example of that.

You will hear a fusion of many different genres in her music. It is sometimes psychedelic, sometimes trip-hop, sometimes pop and sometimes jazz. Ella proclaims that since when she was a little kid she was exposed to a lot of different styles including jazz and classical. Her parents had a wide range of taste of music and for the most part she enjoyed listening to the music that they were listening to. She remembers not liking jazz and classical too much at that time, but today she thinks both of those genres helped her develop a stronger musical background. When you are listening to her sing, you will often feel like you are listening to a choir with sopranos, mezzo-sopranos and contraltos. It is Ella all by herself producing those vocals, especially on “Incurable”.

Her new CD “Bitter Tears” has 11 songs and each and everyone of them can easily be your most favorite one. Listening to Ella is like being in a big mansion, each song opens up the door to a different room… with different colors, different decorations, different time frames. By the time the CD is over you ask yourself “Where was I just now?” … that is if you think you are back… - Hande Burdg - TheProgFiles

"Review of "Bitter Tears""

The PERFECT soundtrack for Autumn's return

As the days grow increasingly shorter and the leave's hues radiate the dying summer's fire-y heat, I've once again been taken hostage by the percolating clutches of "Bitter Tears". After purchasing it well over two years ago, I owe it to this album and ELLA a review for her grinning sonic sorrow pool that is "Bitter Tears". An album truly "difficult" to review with words. Although I can't honestly measure it's "dark" and sorrowful quality in conventional review "comparison" terms I CAN say that it is just as hopeful and reassuring as a warm hug after a nightmare as it is a jolt of fear and tragedy while in a sunny green meadow. Those scenes in a David Lynch film where even the daylight can be scary and a well lit room offers no safety. The pastoral unease of the masterful "Tales From The Darkside" TV intro, you don't know exactly where the warnings come from but they are there. Ella's voice is the song of a maddened siren, not luring you into the rocks but warning you of them. The music offers little hope in avoiding collision, but since the songs are so pleasurable, the seemingly inevitable impact can't seem all that bad. Unlike most "dark" music, where the sources of unease come from obvious places like a driving rhythm section, a screaming harpy or a sinister-toned guitar, on "Bitter Tears" the brightly lit kaleidoscopic funhouse of sound delivers in swirling unexpected twists and distorted mirrors. Sometimes it's as if Nino Rota dropped some acid and collaborated with Robin Guthrie. But "Bitter Tears" is NOT all weirdness and strange. There are moments on here where your OWN tears threaten to fall, NOT from bitterness, but from the sheer beauty of Ella's voice and the songs themselves. The melody, and the floating vibrations of "Slippery Slope" and "Bit For Bit" are spiritually arresting, like a cosmic, karmic backrub. In these songs Ella offers you her warm hand and smiles along the journey. It's one you'll want to take with her again and again. I HIGHLY recommend this album! In fact, buy one or two for some friends. They'll love you for it. - Desmond Ambrose

"Review of "Ineffable Desire" and "Bitter Tears""

Ella Blame crosses over and conquers inner space

Both albums by Ella Blame left me captivated and speechless from the very first notes. Writing a review would not be a simple task I knew.
The first association that sprang to mind was: the “LaGrange-point” ... which is any point in space between two planets where both forces of gravity are equal or zero. For example the point between earth and moon where one escapes earth’s gravity and gets caught by the moon from thereon.
This is what Ella Blame accomplishes with her music - when listened to at the appropriate volume (!) - she takes you out there, gets you floating and pulls you in.

The albums are definitely connected, sequelled, building up to what I hope a third one.
The first album “Ineffable Desire” kicks off with “Fast Life” and will move any dance floor into harmonic vibrations. It is followed by 11 very compact songs, each stating their point with sweeping rhythms alternated with warm instrumental textures.
The songs seem to have the overall lyrical theme of conflicting emotions, both concerning one’s individual doubts as well as conflict with other persons. Even in a song like “Dance With Me” there is a battle going on between surrendering and independency, reflected in lyrics and music.
“Crossing The Border” is probably my favourite because it holds all these elements.
Ella Blame collaborates with various musicians and she is careful to choose the particular sound and feel the songs need. The rhythms on “Swamp Of Lead” are brilliant as Ella’s voice sighs, moans and cries in a desperate way and haunts you long after the song’s faded.
This is not an album aimed to please at first play, it grows on you, it challenges.

The second album “Bitter Tears” shows a more introverted side of Ella, the songs tend more towards ballads - but with a sting. The lyrics dive deep into the emotions that come with infatuation, saying goodbye, disappointment, grief and being empowered.

Again each song gets its own signature rhythm and texture. Ella composes some songs with Shinji Imai who has a wonderful sense for counter pointing when it’s needed and harmony when required. Michael Temple also contributes a solid beat and synth.
All 11 songs are gems. I couldn’t pick a favorite, but “Incurable” stands out for its obstinate, angry point. On the other end of the spectrum “I’m Just Dreaming” distinguishes itself by its intimacy and desperation.
Again this is an album that you’ll want to keep close to your CD-player because it has an array of moods, so you’ll find a song for every hour of the day to affirm you or shake you up.

I have played both albums over and over for the past 10 days, sometimes shuffling through both, and I can assure you: this is precious ore from an off-world planet, ready to be mined. You should of course be ready and willing to lift off and succumb to Ella Blame’s gravity.
- Thon Huijser

"Review of debut album "Ineffable Desire""

This CD should have a warning label: "May induce a state of altered consciousness with distorted perceptions of space and time. Do not drive or operate machinery while listening to this music." Ella Blame's Ineffable Desire grabs you by the synapses and delivers an endless stream of audio stimuli that completely dominate your attention. This is music you don't simply listen to - you experience it... Ella Blame is innovative, perhaps ahead of her time. But the day will come when this music is the pop music of a new generation, and Ineffable Desire will likely be held up as the seminal album of the genre. - Kenny Hart - Indie Music

"Review of debut album "Ineffable Desire""

... Ineffable Desire, though, is full of blood and soul. And madness. Off-kilter, 4:00 A.M. raw, dark-night-of-the-soul madness. The CD cover with an outlandish ray of light beaming out of one of Ella's eyes conveys all of this... Her voice, the heart and soul of the record, is the first thing that boggles the mind. Many of the songs have her voice covering almost her full range (she covers low middle and high registers with bull's-eye accuracy). The madness comes from fear, confronting death, life intensity, longing itself, frustrated desire. Ineffable desire... You have been warned. - Mark Kirby - Music Dish

"Review of debut album "Ineffable Desire""

... Then, in the frenetic "Thought Control" and the experimental "Another Side," both with music by guest collaborator Shinji Imai, Blame shows off the baritone end of her huge range, along with her hisses and moans and piercing high notes. She unveils a fluttery soprano for the spooky, deceptively simple ballad "I Can't Sleep." In fact, it wouldn't be too much of an exaggeration to say that Blame's voice is to a normal person's voice as Robert Patrick's shape-shifting Terminator was to the stolidly anthropomorphic Schwartzenegger model ... - Jon Sobel - BlogCritics

"Review of debut album "Ineffable Desire""

I was really very impressed with this album. I'm happy I took the chance on it after hearing some of the songs on Myspace. My reward is a truly fun and enjoyable listen. Ineffable Desire is VERY interesting! Ella's voice is sheer bliss, comparable to the passion and ingenuity of P.J. Harvey combined with the delicate smoothness of Elizabeth Fraser. Those only being starting points as Ineffable Desire is quite original. The music is wonderfully complimentary to Ella's voice and avoids all mainstream clichés, much like Goldfrapp, but in very different ways. This is a very beautiful and refreshing record, its wonderfully recorded- the sound is awesome, and it felt good, for me, to support the artist. - Desmond Ambrose

"Review of debut album "Ineffable Desire""

Lullabies for restless tsunamis

She just wanted to go where she wanted to go. She had absolutely no desire to slow down. Phantasmagorical shadows with juxtapositional prisms appeared. Instead, she is seen swerving head on into some emotional terrain where no voice dares travel. That remote, wild country. Nobody sings like Ella Blame...nobody bungee jumps their vocal chords like Ella Blame. To even witness a C.D. as personal as "Ineffable Desire", is to to be hushed with silence as you hold your breath following a gathering vocal storm that deftly walks across a tightrope of awe-inspiring musicians gathered from all over the entire globe. There is no net. There is no chance she's turning around. She's brave. Boldly audacious. The spells will be quite powerful. You will be transported within unknown pleasures. Do not try to figure out how she is doing it all without trickery. She can. Did she meet a man at the crossroads? We don't know, and we don't even care. It's cozmik, it's primal, it's nothing you've ever heard before...and you'll find the tunes wrapping around your brain like a wasp in a wicked mood. There is but the one, Ella Blame. So buy it. Treasure it. Turn all of your hippest friends on to it...but, there will never be any chance you will soon forget it. 5*****'s! Now, counting backwards from 5...you are coming back and feeling more awake. Feeling very good now, and alert! Aaaaaah, welcome. Hello! We've been waiting for you. : ) - Tim Chiavaroli

"Review of debut album "Ineffable Desire""

Imagine being lost...
inside of a cage you have created for yourself only within your mind...
There are times when no one or nothing can leak inside...
I have been blessed by a dear friend who has given me a gift in which I never expected...
the music of Ella Blame! Her music not only leaks into your mind, she INVADES it...leaving you saturated and mesmerized.
I find my words are inadequate
as listening to her voice removes one from reality
into this hypnotic and mystical realm
of so many emotions and thoughts we keep secret...
it's as if Ella has always known.
I hear traces of billie holiday and portishead,
but when she opens her mouth
the liquid sounds that escape create the most brilliant colours in your mind.
Never before have I heard anything so desirable and unique.
Ineffable Desire is the most haunting album I have heard in years.
It drips with passion and intensity.
I find myself unable to pick a favourite track off this album as they are all stunning.
'swamp of lead' is my current favourite.
Being impressed greatly by this album is an understatement. - Heather King



To date, Ella Blame has released three albums, "Ineffable Desire", "Bitter Tears" and "Unreleased", the singles "Lunatic", "Play A Game With Me", "The Stars", "Dancing Angel", "Overture", "Game Of Love", "For So Long", "Embrace" and "Melancholia", as well as "Improvisations" (vocals and violin), "The Call" (violin), "Lament" (violin) and "2xSynth and Violin" (instrumental). She is collaborating with musicians from around the globe. Let yourself be enticed into another world by Ella's unique and magic voice and ethereal and psychedelic sounds.