Every now and then, something real comes around again. This is Elke, and these are raw, guttural vocals sung with an urgency upwardly reminiscent of The White Stripes and PJ Harvey. Songs like these didn’t go away, they were just in hibernation. You’d never guess that Kayla Graninger, the feeling behind Elke (pronounced “el-key”), first started her musical journey wanting to be a pop star. Raised on a mix of Top 40, classic rock, and doo-wop, Kayla hung out in some different alleys, from synth-heavy pop to country to shoegaze, before she started singing louder, finding her distinct tone, and, eventually, the confidence to match the thing in the middle of her.

Raised in different cities and small towns around the United States, Graninger dropped out of boarding school and moved to New York in her late teens, where she signed to a modeling agency, failed at that and then hung around until Elke arranged itself around her.

Her debut EP, Bad Metaphors, produced by Shawn Everett (The War on Drugs, Alabama Shakes), consists of 3 rebellious break-up anthems inspired by past relationships. The hip-swaying lead single “Without the I” is an introduction to her musical world, which she explains is “An exploration of memories and moments that I needed to make sense of.” “Two Lives,” a crooning folk-rock hybrid, and “Black and Blue,” the EP’s dark, building finale, further explore the destructive nature of lost love and fading relationships.

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