Me and This Army is the debut album from Portland singer-songwriter Lee Ellis. The album drops tomorrow on June 23rd through No Sleep Records, and is a collection of thirteen songs that are like a mash up of indie, folk, and electro. The way that Me and This Army was recorded gives you the mental picture of Lee Ellis performing the songs in a quiet coffee house, and it sounds like you’re right there with him. As wonderful as the recording and instrumentals are, it’s the amount of potential in the album that makes Lee Ellis’ debut so memorable.
The songwriting on Me and This Army is very raw and unique. There’s no beating around the bush with what the songs are about, and Lee Ellis transmits the story of each song as well as he can. It’s like he’s saying the first thing that comes to his head at any given moment. It’s a little breathtaking. The acoustic element to all of the songs makes you think of a kid in his room, pouring out his heart and soul into his guitar. And you kind of get that feeling too as well.
“It’s a kind of compilation of my life over the last 2 or so years which is when I began recording it on my phone and laptop. The lo-fi feel comes from this process, as I recorded different tracks in my bedroom, on the road, the practice rooms in the music building at my old school, and even in parks and such random places as these.”
– Lee Ellis on Me and This Army
The most noticeable thing about Me and This Army are in fact the instrumentals. At first they come across really soft and subtle, and you barely notice what makes these instrumentals stand out. But if you really listen to the music, you can hear how the notes are unique. You can hear what makes them memorable. They’re so pure and unique, mixing in classic indie elements with some newer flares of electro-rock to create something totally different.
But because of how subtle the instrumentals are, it does have a hard time getting your attention – and sometimes keeping it. It’s more the soft, laidback easy listening type of music than anything else. But no album can really be perfect. However, you can tell that Lee Ellis has a lot of talent. And there’s not one note of Me and This Army that you won’t enjoy listening to.
Me and This Army drops on June 23rd, 2015 through No Sleep Records.