This project begins with innocent childhood imagination. A dream someone has always strived for. In this case it is Nick Ranga, who has named this project after his childhood imaginary friend. Not only will she hold all the secrets, but she has access to his dreams. People Are Taller In Real Life is what she is sharing through the looking glass.
Pennies opens up this wonderful fairy tale. Released as a single in 2021, this is an alt-rock mixture of great flavor and character. Inspired by several genres of the 90s, this track shows Eleanor Collides as the dream that always was. From aspects of Depeche Mode and even Morrisey by the lyrics-this track whispers secrets. The guitars change tone on cue, with this emo-melody striking right where it sounds good.
Lost In The City sees Nick combine forces with Pisgah. The vocal dynamic is an immediate firecracker, an essential mix of Nicks lower register and Pisgah slow harmonics, just about audible. The riffs have the right amount of fuzz and don’t echo with no purpose for too long. This builds the tempo for the next chapter we’re visiting.
Fragments and Shadows opens with the ambient drizzle of water and the opening psychedelia of Jefferson Airplane. More specifically, White Rabbit. As elements of 80s rock bleed into this unique voice, I stay intrigued. Each song touches a little on another genre. Almost like a Meat Puppets acoustic cover, this is pre-grunge charm.
Silent Room lets the guitar bellow, and by god is it good. This is ear fodder we have been waiting for. The sound is overpowering, and the progression gets us some good blues infusion for this kind of rock. The flourishes with the lead guitar are the real winners here. For Broken, Jenni Grossmann joins hands for Eleanor Collides. Teenage daydreams flourish through the song, with a hippie vibe that is something you would hear in a garden during Woodstock 69′. Way to keep the aura alternating through these rings of time and space. The violin parts take the cake without a doubt, slowly serenading the deepest parts of your conscience to everlasting love.
Key in with time
Lemmings in Space has Jasmine Mameli-Millar sitting on the keys for a slow, rhythmic render of a captivating melody. A kids’ voice gives a melodic introduction to what is a synth heavy atmosphere. It is experimental psychedelia, and it is a fun and special listen. Through the Woods encapsulates a journey that is emotional and progressive for Nick. The jangling guitar keeps the rhythm with the drums, while the crooning leads to the guitar parts. I felt the vocals felt a bit out of place through pitch in this track-but the instrumentals reign it home.
Uniting with Pisgah again, another new wave track like Joy Division makes the list. It is spatially disorienting, and addictive because of the melodic vocal execution. The notes seem to linger in the ether, as the vocals directly tattoo into your brain. Bad Chemistry is a shoegaze attempt with a signature sound.
Getting Out is more pop than any track here, but leans in on Eleanor Collides having plenty live instruments. Lucoline lends her beautiful voice for offsetting Nick’s. The flourishes on the guitar battle vocal riffing, layered and rich. It is a nice duet track, creating something fresh in the catalogue.
Changing gears to the horizon
Driving Away is the last track on the album. Spanning a little more than 6 minutes, this is the closing chapter of the fairytale. Echoing reverbs on the guitar help chisel the world Nick wants to take us to. Explosions of synth allow to swallow the headspace in completion. The guitar tone is still the clearest element. The softer beats don’t distract from this great progression Nick has on his hands. Once again, I felt the vocals could be a little more polished, but I get the raw take that has been entered. It is honest and lives within the nuances of the song.
Eleanor Collides sees experimentation, execution and the frivolities of being a musician. This is more than a project, it is an identity. Something that Nick Ranga has successfully done with this album. With a lot of guest appearances and each track getting its own colorful fingerprint, it is clear as day that this dream lives on.
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Self professed metalhead, moderately well read. If the music has soul, it's whole to me. The fact that my bio could have ended on a rhyme and doesn't should tell you a lot about my personality.