Essentially Pop visited “Proud Camden” last night for the launch of Effie’s new EP, “Conquer”.
Effie, who has been called “a female Frank Ocean”, and compared to Jessie Ware. “Conquer” is the result of a chance encounter with Rhett “Kidforce” Raha, an artist and producer based in LA. The songs on the EP are written from the point of view of someone who’s been in and out of love, but is now on the other side, better and stronger. “Conquer” is a cathartic collection of bitingly refreshing songs, and we really enjoyed hearing them last night.
We arrived at Proud Camden ahead of schedule, and sat on a sofa waiting for things to get started. Situated in the gorgeous Horse Hospital Markets, Proud Camden is a classy place, elegantly appointed, with nods to horses of days gone by, such as Red Rum and Pharlap – definitely a fitting place for an EP launch.
Just after 8, Effie took to the stage, opening with “Biggest Regret”, the third song from “Conquer”. Soulful and moving, she sings about the turmoil she’s been through in love, but she’s now moving on:
Which way to go
I don’t know, but I’m feeling stronger now
And its hard without you
But I’m moving on somehow
Next was a great cover of Kwabs’ “Wrong or Right”, which we’d not heard before, but with the Effie gave it her all.
“Conquer” is a concept album, with the linking thread between each song the strength Effie has found post-relationship. The third song of the night was “Oceans”, also from “Conquer”:
I’m gonna lace my boots
Then I’ll get to walking
Cos from what I’ve been through
You can’t tell me nothing
Fourth song and it’s another cover, this time it’s Drake’s “Furthest Thing”. But it’s nothing like Drake – Effie takes the song and strips it back to the something which could be at home in any jazz club…which effectively, it was.
“It’s Hard”, with its lyrics of bombs and regrets and moving to the other side of the world, she needs to move on but she can’t…she tries, she wants to, but the love she feels, her broken heart is, “soaked in my soul”. Moving, haunting, one of our favourite songs of the night.
Effie took it up a notch with her own take on the Nirvana classic, “Smells Like Teen Spirit”. She’s no Kurt Cobain but she doesn’t need to be – Effie gave it her all, and the audience, which by this time had swollen to fill the room, with all of the ample couches filled, and many people crowded around the club’s doors, clearly enjoyed it immensely.