Ex:Re - "Romance"
As the result of a failing relationship the beloved British songwriter let her feelings break lose, resulting in a record that is as stirring as it is mesmerizing. And here's why it should become your musical ally during the transition into spring from those cold winter days.
Running parallel to Daughter, Elena Tonra, guitarist, vocalist and lyricist of Daughter, has assumed the pseudonym Ex:Re (pronounced ex ray) for her eponymously-titled debut solo album, a deeply personal record that was made with both a sense of urgency and a cathartic need.
Tonra’s candid solo songs document the time after a relationship ended and are written like unsent letters to herself and others. Taking on a creative moniker, she chose Ex:Re to mean ‘regarding ex’ and also ‘X-Ray’ as a way to look inside and see what is really there. Writing took a year but the recording process lasted mere months, turning to Fabian Prynn (4AD’s in-house engineer and producer) and composer Josephine Stephenson on cello to help bring Ex:Re to life.
Elena said of the album, “Although the record is written for someone, a lot of the time it’s about the space without that person in it. In every scenario, there's either the person in memory or the noticeable absence of that person in the present moment. I suppose it is a break-up record, however I do not talk about the relationship at all, and he hardly features in the scenes. He is only felt as a ghostly presence.”
In he album Ex:Re addresses both the endpoint of a process as well as the road leading towards it. Just like the end of a relationship. It’s a bare and honest record. Simple, effective and without any unnecessary gimmicks. That’s the biggest strength of it and the fact that it also helped Tonra on her way to recovery is another plus. Despite its bleak nature this record can indeed spread home through its relieving character. When everything’s been said out loud you are finally allowed to move forward. And this future truly is probably a quite exciting one for one of contemporary music’s most gifted songwriters, that much seems for sure.
So today, with the world seeing right through me, I choose Ex:Re’s "Romance" as my, find the love inside, see the love in every spark of life, reflect the love to every human you see, song for a, if not now - when, if not I - who, if not love - what, Wednesday.