From an early start playing accordion, Swiss performer Wellkers took up harp, keys and guitar finding his way to his version of the blues via freestyle rap, grunge and rock. This EP brings us five tracks, all self-produced. ‘Tu Es Jolie’ has a moody acoustic piano intro and French vocal, delivered in an almost hesitant smoky alto.
It remains me in mood anyway of the Gallic chanteuse Zazie. Well-judged guitar and drums kick in, with background bass. It has to be said, this is quite haunting stuff with a minimal approach that doesn’t push the song into torch territory, darker in tone than the song title suggests. More piano on the sung-in-English second track but a bit clanky this time, presumably Wellkers is or was a fan of Randy Newman going by this cut.
Alex sounds a bit wound up, shame the budget doesn’t run to a soft brass band. ‘Hollywood, LA’ is the title and it does work. ‘I Do Feel So Useless’ is much more punchy, with fuzz guitar, chugging beat after the intro and a strong vocal. A very neat construction on the song itself, emphatic drumming. If you like the electric sneer of The Dandy Warhols, try this track. ‘Jiya’ is again a bit snarly and angry, highlighted by the way it is sung. It’s making me think this set should have been called Admonition.
This number really needs a burning solo but there is a post-Velvets chug instead at one point and the organ chording suits the tune. ‘Where’s This Place’ starts with a loping electric guitar sequence before settling into the NY stabbing beat Wellkers seems to favour. Quite an angry-sounding clutch of numbers but did that approach harm Paul Weller?
Alex Wellkers new EP ‘Have’ is out now and released independently.
For more information visit his official website here: http://bit.ly/2kGPOiA