Words To Live By is the debut EP by Melbourne three-piece Echo Del Tusker, and follows the release of two well received singles, ‘Can’t Keep Your Man’ and ‘Fix Your Face’, both of which are included here. Echo Del Tusker play a brand of blue-eyed soul with hard rock guitars and a blues edge. Yet there’s much more than that. There is a song diversity and style range that is key to the band’s broad appeal, and highlights some genuine songwriting chops.
Vocalist Estelle Artois (ex-Tequila Mockingbyrd) is an absolute powerhouse, armed with a potent voice and a vintage, soul-based sound. If you want full throttle guitar action, ‘Fix Your Face’ certainly delivers. A rifforama with a dynamite chorus and plenty of crunch. Man can Artois belt it out. Want jazz/soul crossover ? How about the smooth, funky, stylish soul of ‘Endless’. This is a super catchy radio-ready hit. Same goes for ‘The World Is Yours’ with its seductive, sultry feel. Yet there’ s also some genuine grit to the rhythm thanks to the guitars of Brendan Forward (ex-Massive). Super melodic tune that reminds the listener of Joss Stone. That’s makes it radio hit number 2.
With its expansive early 70’s guitars, acid rockisms and big vocals, ‘Colour Of Love’ has its moments, before the neo-soul of ‘Can’t Keep Your Man’, pulls in any slack. Big chorus and big hooks and to my ears, hit single number 3 from an EP rich in soul/rock crossover appeal. While some may consider a comparison to Amy Winehouse a stretch, Artois is in that contralto vocal territory, and is certainly in the same ballpark as Winehouse.
The next big thing ? Time will tell. Echo Del Tusker are certainly a name to watch and as ‘Words To Live By’ demonstrates, they have the goods required to go to the major leagues. Music programmers and major labels, are you paying attention ? ‘Words To Live By’ is also music to live by. Recommended.