The self-released CD that came to me from Ellie Lawson had a very sweet handwritten note on the front, but, truly, all Ms. Lawson had to do was tell me she was dropped from Atlantic Records after her first album. If your label ditches you based on one release and you stay in the business, you’re serious about the art and not serious about the commerce. At least, that’s a rule of thumb. Either that, or you’re Milli Vanilli.
Ellie hails from South London, and has a deliciously dark side to her music. It’s a sound that in the hands of most female singer-songwriters could come off as morose (or worse, dull), but Ellie manages to make it sound intimate—as if she’s telling us hidden secrets. Perhaps that’s why the album is titled “Lost Songs.”
There’s some interesting “girl cred” producers on the record, too, including Sugababes, Jem, and Lily Allen. Don’t hold it against her that one her fans is Ellen “I’m on American Idol even though I have absolutely no musical ability or experience” DeGeneris.