April 28,

Red Stage @Sparkasse KölnBonn

A man crouches on a bulky waste mattress - his head lowered, his face masked. There is no one else where he is sitting. The setting appears as orderly as it is terrifying: an open field, a tree, a patch of woodland, an autumn sky grained to the maximum, gloom in a thousand shades of gray. The mysterious man? Elias. The picture described? A press photo that illustrates the newcomer's artistic vision, including the vibe of his debut EP "Wie lässt man los?", more aptly than a thousand words. Nevertheless, let's give it a try: Elias is a singer, rapper and producer, refining sensitive, experimental indie pop with an abysmal, bass-heavy hip-hop ambience. Between reverberating pop vocals and head-voice choirs, reduced guitar playing and anti-cyclical drums, everything seems to be allowed in the Elias cosmos - gentleness clashes with roughness, meticulous perfectionism atomizes in defiant lack of rules. On a lyrical level, Elias presents himself as an open book, singing truthfully about the pain of separation and inner conflicts. In direct contrast, cryptic imagery shrouds his art in dense fog: Elias' appearance is rendered unrecognizable by either wild scribbles or a simple storm mask when he ghosts through dense woodland or across unsteady city intersections in his videos.

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