With only a scene-stealing feature on Goldielocks’ pulsating 2019 track Dysphoria, Sydneysider Elva Ray must have felt these nerves in the lead-up to her debut single. And yet, almost in spite of its freshness on the scene, ‘Hold Me’ arrives with dazzling confidence, and establishes its talented singer as an indie-pop force to watch.
The musical brainchild of Ashleigh Stephens, Elva Ray was first conceived in the midst of Sydney’s lockdown – a period of hunkering-down that gives her reemergence on ‘Hold Me’ a satisfying sense of arrival. Cushioned by soulful vocals and amped-up by an electronic hook, the debut track sees Elva Ray curate her sound of synth-heavy pop ballads. “You can hold me,” Ray sings as the verse crescendos to its euphoric chorus, “‘till you know you’re the reason I smile.”
The kind of song you’d listen to in the throes of an epic love story, Stephens says Hold Me is “a lullaby for someone that felt completely lost…I was trying to describe the feeling of co-dependence and the longing hope to change for someone by giving them comfort.”
Arriving with equal confidence and then some, the accompanying clip for ‘Hold Me’ is a ceremonial glitter bomb. Directed by Millicent Malcom and shot by Liam French, the video sees Elva Ray reinforces on the song’s dance-friendly beat with choreographed explosions of pure elation. Backed by bridal imagery and technicoloured lighting, the video feels like the radiant end result of pent-up emotions, and suggests that despite her newcomer status, Elva Ray is here to stay.
Peep the video premiere below, and follow Elva Ray on Instagram for touring dates and info.