Ellie Bleach’s new single ‘Pamela’ is one of those rare tracks that seems like an old friend despite only just being released. There is a warm americana mixed in with the soft psychedelia of its rolling chords. Ever the storyteller in her songs Ellie Bleach has created a feature film’s worth of story in a 4-minute song, as outlined it on her Bandcamp page:

As the new arrival in small town suburbia, an axe-wielding doomsday prepper in fishnets and high heels, the song’s as much about the local hysteria she’s causing as it is about Pamela herself. As the residents gawk with lust and disgust, I see her embodying the ‘spiritual bimbo’ archetype – hot enough to be desired, but too strange to be accepted. This is my exploration of apocalypse anxiety without being a direct statement on climate change, it’s a snapshot of the ambient dread often felt by my generation told through an unlikely prophet“.

The production and arrangement are perfect as they keep the song moving along and never crash the vocals, although this would be hard as the quality of Ellie Bleach’s voice has a flawless clarity. I have often said in reviews that only the best voices can be left barely touched by effects (reverb, delay etc.) and still be as compelling. It’s a voice that breathes life into the story and there aren’t many songs that have made me wish I was “hot enough to be desired, but too strange to be accepted” and there aren’t many songs that manage to be a hugely enjoyable listen as well as a Netflix pitch.

Ellie Bleach gigs:

June 10th – Long Division Festival, Wakefield

June 15th – Doña, London

July 19th – The Hope & Ruin, Brighton

Ellie Bleach socials: Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Bandcamp | TikTok

‘Pamela’ lyrics

Pamela digs a ditch in the desert
kitting it out in zebras and leopards
armageddon never looked so good

I remember summers in essex
hotter and drier than texas
she was working at a car wash
i’ve never seen anything like it
every warm-blooded man was driving
a car you could eat a dinner off
as sure as the sun will set in the west
speculation on pamela starts to spread
‘have you seen that she carries an axe?’
‘and the symbols tattooed on her back?’
Is she mad?
I said Pamela how can you stand it?
everybody thinks you’re totally batshit
she sat me down and said
they’ll all be dead

She knows it’s coming and you’re gonna be the first to go
It’s the apocalypse and finally some time alone
Let me tell you something

But the approval of the townies was far from her mind
there’s only one space in the bunker
its for our human swiss-army knife

She knows it’s coming, you’re gonna be the first to go
It’s the apocalypse finally some time alone
She knows it’s coming, you’re gonna be the first to go
It’s the apocalypse, finally some time alone
I’m telling you

Review by Paul F Cook

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