Ellis in Transit’s new Single Hands Up is hands down great!
Sometimes someone sends me a song that I have to write about. The new single “Hands Up” by Hamilton band Ellis in Transit is one of those songs. It was released yesterday and – full disclosure – I got a preview of it last week.
Sometimes a song for one reason or another stands out to me for a few days – I just find myself humming it in the shower without realizing what it is.
I now shower almost exclusively in the evenings. It makes no sense; it’s just the new natural flow of my working-from-home daily routine. Sorry, I just needed to tell someone that.
Let me back up and start from the beginning – not of the shower.
When I got a request recently to review a new song, “Hands Up” by Hamilton band Ellis in Transit. The song wasn’t out yet, so I looked them up on Spotify to see what I could find.
I checked out the first track I found called Thousand Feet Deep. This song starts solid enough to keep listening – when the vocals break into the chorus they got my full attention. Ohh! It’s a great song. Let’s see what’s up with these guys… I sent an email to see if they would send over the new single a little early. They did.
Ellis in Transit features vocals that you can sink into by Alexandria Shankland and some serious strings by Jim Robertson, both of whom have a British-twang to their music if you will. The two artists site their influences amount artists such as The Brian Jonestown Massacre, Oasis, Wolf Alice among other acts. I can hear the meld of the British and North American influences in a lot of the stuff I took in when writing this and researching the band.
Now, on to the single! I can’t get this one out of my head. In a good way. It could be because it similarly speaks to me as their other music does. I’m down with some dirty guitar alt-rock and some silky vocals. I think it’s a bit more than that though. This one is a bit more somber than the band’s other music and guitars remind me at points of James Calvin Wilsey’s work on Wicked Games, but then the Brit-alt-rock roars back in just at the right moment.
I also want to touch on the vocals of Shankland – now I’m not entirely sure how these guys record or release tracks, but I’d venture a guess there was a bit of time between this track and the previous three releases. Shankland has a very cool voice and I would like to hear more of her for sure. I appreciated how much she allowed herself to experiment with her voice on this track.
There is some incredibly beautiful music brewing in these guys and I think we’ll see more evolution of sound as they grow and release more – I hope so at least. There are moments in the “Hands Up” track where I feel like I could be listening to this in a blues bar from an old movie and moments where I could be in the middle of an arena concert with a ripped tee-shirt breaking every single social distancing rule I can think of.
You can check out the brand spanking new track by Ellis in Transit on Spotify below.