There was not much I knew about Eloise before Drunk on a Flight. “Subside” from her 2019 EP This Thing Called Living often popped up in my Spotify mixes, so I knew I liked her vibe, but I never did a deep dive into her relatively minimal discography. After listening to her newest album, I regret not listening to her earlier. This project is so complete. Every track is necessary to the story, and it tells an amazing one at that. On my first listen, I was disappointed that it lasted just a little over 30 minutes. But, I noticed that the album wraps up wonderfully needing no more than what is already presented. The shortness actually makes it quite enjoyable; it’s kind of like how every movie nowadays is three hours long and it feels refreshing when I get out of the theaters after only 90 minutes. Eloise gets to the point quickly and efficiently.
She begins the title track with this first line: “We broke up when we woke up.” The straightforwardness allows listeners to know exactly what they are dealing with here. What becomes interesting is the scene that is set after this line. This breakup is abrupt, interrupted by Eloise having to catch a flight; convenient or unfortunate timing depending on who initiated the breakup. The abandoned feelings left by this stark detachment appear throughout the album, making sure it all connects. The track ascends into the bridge as we hear Eloise searching for the man that she misses. There is so much emotion in just these four words: “I look for you.” A gorgeous swell of voices back the singer, perfectly creating a sense of longing. Then, the drums pick up, briefly abandoning the boom bap tempo that was present through the verses. This is when the hi-hats come in, creating a blatant separation between the bridge and the rest of the track. The drums wonderfully symbolize just what this bridge does to “Drunk on a Flight”; Eloise is most vulnerable in the bridge, and the drums make her vulnerability even louder. Though the language is simple and repetitive, the instruments play into the complexity of the situation.
Eloise has so much fun experimenting with genres on this concept album. The artist has already established her space in R&B, but the fusion of genres explored here symbolizes the mix of emotions felt throughout the breakup. “Therapist” may have some slightly cheesy lyrics, but the anger expressed through snippets of rock throughout elevates the seriousness of her troubles. In this track, the artist complains about the pressure of being her ex’s “specialist,” feeling the pressure of his issues on her shoulders. She stops holding herself back and releases her inner thoughts, ironically like a session with a therapist. This track grew on me; at first, it felt like an uncomfortable switch from her calm R&B track, but I began to really enjoy it. The artist slowly dips her toe into rock in this track, but goes full force in the next. “I Take It Back” right after “Therapist” is so relatable that it’s humorous. There is more anguish in what she has said than the anger she has towards her ex. The desperate desire to take back everything that was said in the previous track just feels so human. It’s the regret after saying something that had a little too much truth to it. There is irony that these two tracks pair so well together, as if they are the perfect match that Eloise wishes she had with her ex.
The two ballads featured are quite different from each other, but illicit similar emotions from listeners. “Cold As The Sea” is a short track that mimics a lullaby. After the anger and resentment set by “Therapist” and “I Take It Back,” the artist finds herself reflecting on these feelings. It begins with the question, “Who do you want me to be?” Her emotions have gotten the best of her, revealing an uglier side to the breakup. Eloise appears to admit her wrongdoing in the relationship, relating back to the issues that drowned both lovers. The lyricism in “In Another Year” is so beautiful. Its complexity contrasts the previous track well while also keeping consistency in its hollowed tone. This song may have context beyond the relationship with lyrics like “And I, I wanna feel alive / I’ve got bones to break, mistakes to make before I die.” Here we see that there is more troubling her than the current breakup.
“Vanilla Tobacco” is the most sensual track on this album. Eloise is confident going back to her R&B roots with the implementation of record scratches giving the track a contemporary flare. She has gotten to the point after a breakup where she so desperately wants to go back to her ex. She romanticizes the times they shared in order to justify her needs. The hints of soft jazz are a staple of the artist, and allow for a romantic tone to soar. This has got to be my favorite track; it was a difficult decision, but there is a specialty to this song. It’s sensual, fun, and has great lyrics that emphasize the tension that was once there. “No need for words when there’s sex in the air / I can taste you on my body when you’re not there.” Even if this song is about a toxic ex, you can hear how passionate the relationship was.
Eloise ends her project on a somber note. “Tired Now” represents the exhaustion that comes with grieving a broken relationship. It seems as though the relationship was doomed from the start. She admits to letting her problems overwhelm the relationship, hurting them both in the end. This finale makes the most sense for the project; this is why I believe the entirety of the album works together creating a story that is easy to follow. The cohesiveness of this project has honestly made this review quite easy. Every track was where it was supposed to be, the story was told clearly, and the music itself was so enjoyable. With “Tired Now,” not only has she found a fitting ending for her relationship, but also for her debut, bringing listeners along with her through a therapeutic project.