Cocaine, the latest single from Gold Coast songwriter Ella Fence, comes with a disclaimer:
This is not a song about drugs.
This is not a song about love.
This is a song experience overshadowed by venom and the art of freeing yourself.
A collaborative effort with Vinnie LaDuce, the track explores escape, jealousy and release in an unbelievably restrained manner.
The video follows suit, projecting an uneasy yin/yang relationship between freedom and restriction. As much as Fence lets loose onscreen and on the mic, you get the feeling a shadow hangs over her, ready to pull the young star away at a moment’s notice.
With a subtle tendril of electro-pop, Cocaine sees Ella Fence in no-mans-land, wedged between careless celebration and a careful cry for help.
Gentle percussion and Fence’s withdrawn vocal rule the track from a dull throne, soft synths and LaDuce’s interjections carrying her harrowing composition to evocative new realms.
It’s been some time since I heard a song (or saw a clip) which embodied the ‘less is more’ ideal as completely as Cocaine does. Like only the best songwriters are able to, Fence is comfortable letting her subject matter stand almost completely on its own.
Nothing is tougher than being exposed, and her confidence in this state lends Fence an amazing magnetism.
[soundcloud url=”https://api.soundcloud.com/tracks/328013333″ params=”color=000000&auto_play=false&hide_related=false&show_comments=true&show_user=true&show_reposts=false” width=”100%” height=”166″ iframe=”true” /]
It’s why decoding this clip is such a treat. Fence projects some form of twisted jealousy upon a nameless subject, admiring their freedom yet, at the same time, resisting the way of life it comes with. Who is this mysterious person? Is it even a person Fence is referring to?
Layered metaphor, shadowy cinematography and a tight-knit edit never really provide any answers. Instead, you’re left feeling the burden, the uncertainty and the anxiety of Ella Fence’s mysterious love/hate relationship as she would.
Which, at the end of the day, is what great art should do.
You can catch Ella Fence live this August supporting Christian Patey:
Sat 5 August – Byron Bay Brewery – Byron Bay
Sat 19 August – Milk Factory – Brisbane
Cocaine is the second track off an upcoming six track EP with Vinnie LaDuce. Stay tuned.