Ella Janes – Many Miles Away EP’

by Jack Reid

Some of our PearShaped diehards may remember Ella Janes as the charming songstress who made an appearance at the Cavern for our Christmas Party. That was quite fresh off of the back of her time away from these sleepy moors, in the similarly sleepy plains of the Vendée, France. Ella’s music being a very intimately personal affair, these kinds of details are very prudent in understanding her lyricism. Ella tells us that whereas her debut EP, Leave It All Behind, was an ode to leaving, this EP is a chronicle of homecoming.

With the maturity of the songwriter comes the maturity of the songs on this EP. Two major life events are told incredibly honestly, with Tombée Du Ciel and Many Miles Away being about finding true love in Vendée, while Helen and Peter Pan Man tell the story of her parents’ divorce, and her father leaving home. Each of these topics is talked about with such unflinching honesty on this EP; it is all the more shocking that these songs don’t come off as adolescent journal pages streaked with tear-stains. Instead, the confidence and maturity that is evoked - particularly in the empathetic tracks Helen and Peter Pan Man - is reminiscent of second, or even third album Laura Marling.

Walking hand-in-hand with well executed honesty is impressive instrumentation and production. Each track on this EP is a pure delight on the ears. The usual acoustic fare of lightly strummed guitar is layered over with a full, warm band that does wonders to fill out the atmosphere of Ella’s sound. Overall, this is a strong and pleasant album. Ella has managed to make a huge leap forward without leaving any aspect behind - leaving us with a fully formed folk singer-songwriter to look out for.