"The most common feedback I've heard from my 30-something friends who took up with Taylor Swift's two 2020 albums, and the current No. 1 song in the world, Olivia Rodrigo's "drivers license," is that this particular flavour of wistful pop has made them feel like teenagers again. Heartbroken or not, there's some kind of young, dramatic muscle memory that swells while listening to soaring pop balladry — it hurts good, and you keep hitting repeat.
London via Berklee College of Music songwriter Elena has found this bittersweet spot with her new single, "Build a Ship," which shifts through at least five melodic stages while her pure, melancholic pop vocals glisten. Like the aforementioned artists, Elena's achingly pretty "Build a Ship" gently coerces you to either feel what you haven't felt since those formative, heavy-hearted years, or what you never allowed yourself to process in the first place." — JH
-CBC Radio Canada
"Build a ship details the story of a failed courtship, with the protagonist detailing her escape from an awkward state of affairs that refuses to yield. The rhetoric however is one of empowerment rather than gloom, with the vessel personifying Elena’s willingness to respond to the discomfort with a hopeful ethos. The now London-based singer-songwriter has faced her own imperfections with an invigorating and winsome attitude, employing a sonic simplicity that lends a subtle nod to contemporaries Julia Michaels, Tate Mcrae, & Billie Eilish.
As The 1975 so roundly proclaimed, sincerity is scary, yet Elena manages to portray it with ease, allowing for the alluring combination of lo-fi drums and intricately layered vocals to bask in its own serenity. The affairs of the heart are as delicate as spiderwebs glistening in the morning dew, and this sparkling imagery is sure to be translated into her debut album “Holy Tender Artist”."
-In Tune Music