On Repeat: Elke’s Bouncy New Single ‘I Can Help’ Wants to Lead Us Out of Dystopia

Considering the pandemic inspired an epidemic of playlists of songs about being lonely and isolated, we thought it was about time someone stepped forward to take emotional charge of the situation. Which is precisely why we’re totally hooked on the bouncy new Elke single ‘I Can Help,’ whose very title pretty much explains its intentions.

Just a month ago, the charismatic Nashville songstress was suggesting – via new single ‘Vacuum’ – that we hoover our way out of quarantine, and get back to living our truly awesomest life. Now she’s offering to play musical therapist, lyrically imparting such genuinely helpful advice as, “Maybe a reminder / To take time to breathe / You know, the deep breaths / That take you to the sea and back.”

Sonically it’s a bit Motown, a tad Britpop, and just shot full of jaunty keys and irresistibly bubbly hooks. And against such an uplifting aural backdrop, Elke trills her words of wisdom with the same sort of artful aplomb as, say, Stereolab’s Lætitia Sadier, layering on equal parts cheek and charm – both of which also come through in the slyly exuberant accompanying video.

“I wrote ‘I Can Help’ as an ode to the somewhat dystopian life we all seem to have accepted as comfortable,” Elke explains. “And then how the responsibility always gets dumped on the people who didn’t even create the fundamental issues. Steel drums felt to be an appropriate foundation, and from there everyone worked their magic to lift up this song in an irresistible way. It’s one of my favorites on the record.”

The record she’s referring to is No Pain For Us Here, her debut album, due out September 24 via Congrats Records…and produced by Paramore’s Zac Farro (who also helmed the video). But it all wasn’t hearts and flowers between the two.

 “He told me to sing a little higher and explore my range, and I got a little mad at him,” she recalls. “We got into arguments. It started out easygoing, then I’d have to leave and go sit in the car. I’d get overwhelmed.”

It all worked out for the best obviously – and from what we can tell, they’re still just as chummy as can be.

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