The wait is over. Grammy Award-winning singer/songwriter Elle Varner has returned with her long-awaited project titled Ellevation via Entertainment One. It’s her first official project to release since 2012’s Perfectly Imperfect.
Executive produced by Varner, Ellevation features production from Nascent, Jordan Ware, Jason Avalos and Los Hendrix. It also includes guest appearances from rappers Wale and Rapsody.
Varner awakens her listeners with “Coffee on the Roof,” the smooth opener that finds her catching feelings for her love interest. If you don’t get it by now, Varner wears her heart on her sleeves — and doesn’t hesitate to show it through her music. The rest of the EP examines the ups and downs of a relationship.
“On 1 to 10,” Varner tries to save a relationship that’s on the rocks. Unfortunately, the relationship doesn’t and now she has to deal with a broken heart. “Wishing Well” featuring rapper Rapsody sees Varner sending positive vibes to her ex-lover. “And even though it hurt like hell / I cried tears in the wishing well / I still wish you well,” she sings.
Getting over a breakup isn’t easy and will take time. For Varner, she tries to keep her head up as she moves on with her life but she knows that she can’t stop thinking about him. She compares her ex being stuck in her head like a “Number One Song.”
There’s always a lesson to be learned in a relationship — especially during a breakup. Varner knows exactly what she wants in her next relationship. On “Kinda Love,” Varner makes her standards very clear. “I just want good loving and some conversation / If you ask me, that’s quite a combination / And I want that elevation,” she sings.
Just like Varner’s debut, Perfectly Imperfect, she ends the project with words of wisdom. Varner uses her personal experiences to offer comfort on “Be Encouraged,” which is dedicated to anyone who is going through a rough time in life.
“Every time it rains, every time you fall / Every time you’re all alone and got no one to call / Remember what’s inside your heart / We gotta find a little spark / But some of them, especially you / Have them wherever you are,” she sings on the chorus.
It may have taken Varner some years to follow-up with Perfectly Imperfect — due to business and other personal reasons — but Ellevation was well worth the wait. In an age where some artists are pressured to follow a particular trendy sound to get recognition, Varner chose to stay true to herself. As a result, she delivered an impressive body of work that could very well be considered an album.
Stream Ellevation below.
Standout Tracks: “Coffee on the Roof,” “1 to 10” and “Be Encouraged”