It has been a long time coming for LA native Elle Varner. She has been bubbling under the radar for the last couple of years independently making a name for herself. Varner was built for this, she was born to do this. Spending most of her childhood sleeping on studio couches watching her parents, Mikelyn Roderick and Jimmy Varner, accomplished songwriters work. After attempting to learn and learning several instruments including the guitar (which she quit on), flute and piano she learned that the greatest instrument she could learn to use was her voice. At 16, she became apart of the Hamilton Academy of Music’s Jazz Group and was selected to be in the Grammy In the Schools Mentoring Program. She then applied to NYU, with a C average and much to her surprise was accepted. Not only did Elle get into NYU but she was all accepted into the second class of the Clive Davis Program of Recorded Music. Upon graduating she was awarded “Most Likely to be Signed” and “Most Likely to Win a Grammy.” Now four years later she finds herself to be a well trained singer songwriter.
Elle Varner, with such an accomplished background and pedigree still needed to be able to prove that she had the talent and ability to do this. Most of you first became aware of Elle because of her single, “Only Wanna Give It To You” feat J Cole and then definitely because of her follow up single “Refill.” However, Elle had been dropping singles and tracks prior to that like the awesome single with fellow up and coming artist Karina Paisan, “Luv Me Tomorrow” off of the Black Hero Theme Muzik project. She also dropped the mixtape “Conversational Lush” at the end of 2011, beginning of 2012. All of this lead up to the release of “Perfectly Imperfect.” Perfectly Imperfect is just that! It is perfectly imperfect from the quality of her voice which is reminiscent of a time long ago to the depth in the simplicity of her lyrics.
Perfectly Imperfect sets the tone for a career that appears to have longevity and sets the building blocks, the foundation for a career of diversity and growth. With a soulful, raspy voice, Elle sounds more like 60’s & 70’s R&B instead of the oversaturated POP R&B of today. This album is a blend of R&B/Soul with flares of Hip-Hop like the J Cole assisted single to the acoustic ode “Damn Good Friends.” This album sounds like a personal letter written to herself and we are allowed to enjoy the ride. She opens up intimately on the tracks “I Dont Care” and “Not Tonight.” She show’s her vulnerability on “So Fly” and even shows a glimpse of her sensual side on the cut “Sound Proof Room.”
As a whole “Perfectly Imperfect” shows the turn that the R&B genre is taking and getting back to its roots. This is a passionate, emotional filled audible orgasm that is welcomed and much needed. The bar is starting to be raised and sustained by the newcomers of the game. Following the stellar debut of Frank Ocean’s “Channel Orange” Elle Varner shows that the ladies aren’t going to be pushed to the wayside and shows that this genre is alive and thriving.
Make sure you all go and cop the new album that is out now!