Elkka – Prism Of Pleasure 

A confident, fearless record...

‘Prism Of Pleasure’ doesn’t feel like Elkka’s debut album. It feels like the work of an artist who knows exactly who she is, knows exactly what she wants, and knows exactly how she’s going to get it. At its heart, ‘Prism Of Pleasure’ is a story of empowerment and vulnerability, and Elkka isn’t scared to tackle that message head-on. 

Unlike her previous EPs, ‘Prism Of Pleasure’ sees Elkka explore her own voice more. Opening track ‘Break All My Walls Down’ is a sensual, lyrical, deeply personal commitment to self-expression. Elkka isn’t afraid of anything, or if she is, she’s really good at hiding it. ‘Right Here’ was written in 40 minutes on the morning of her father’s funeral, but it’s a positive, affirmative track, with a catchy hook and bittersweet lyrics. It captures the feeling of accepting dread and looking to a brighter future, which immediately bleeds into its chest-thumping successor ‘Make Me’. Elkka takes us on an emotional journey–she wants us to feel as deeply as she has. ‘Make Me’ is the sonic equivalent of lions racing through the savannah, all rhythm and fearlessness and poise. 

Elkka’s pensive voice on ‘Crushhh’ and ‘Passionfruit’ – both featuring pianist John Carroll Kirby’s spacious Solange-tinged production – offers us a chance to catch our breath. They are the album’s core moments of reflection, an opportunity to breathe and ponder. ‘Passionfruit’ especially, throughout its 9-minute instrumental odyssey, is like non-verbal communication come to life. 

Elkka doesn’t let one rest for long before the deft Floating Points-esque production on ‘I Just Want to Love You’ cuts through the tranquillity. Still emotional and pensive, the track calls back to its forefather ‘Air Tight’, another track reminiscent of Floating Points. ‘Air Tight’ is the track that could ignite a tired 4 a.m. crowd in a dark, smoky club. Merging with the FKA Twigs-adjacent ‘Your Skin’, ‘Air Tight’ is a call to adventure, a renaissance of sorts. 

‘Surrender To Me’ calls back to the electronic dance production of ‘Air Tight’ and ‘Your Skin’. These are the tracks that could make it onto dancefloors and revitalise any crowd with their thoughtful lyrics and glistening instrumentals. 

‘Prism Of Pleasure’ is a confident, fearless record, with peaks and troughs of utter ecstasy and untold grief. Elkka has certainly mastered the art of weaving incongruous emotions with incongruous beats, and it’s a combination that shines here. 

8/10 

Words: Erin Bashford

Related: Soundtracks For Queer Pleasure – Elkka Interviewed

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