FIVE FAVOURITES: ELLIS

Released today (3rd April) via Fat Possum Records, Ontario-based artist ELLIS has shared her debut album, Born Again. Filled with graceful vocals, confessional lyrics, and understated melodies; the album shimmers with a sentiment and maturity that shows her growth as a songwriter. We think one of the best ways to get to know an artist is by asking what music inspired them to write in the first place. We caught up with ELLIS to ask about her “Five Favourites” – five albums that influenced her song writing techniques. Check out her choices below, and scroll down to watch her video for ‘Embarrassing’ at the end of this post.

 

1. The Smashing Pumpkins – Siamese Dream
I’m pretty sure The Smashing Pumpkins are the coolest band of all time. I love how cinematic this record feels. I love the distorted guitars paired with really pretty vocal melodies. And Billy shreds. I saw them live last summer shortly before I started recording the record, and was like, “I want to be in The Smashing Pumpkins.” I definitely referenced the guitar tone from ‘Mayonaise’ in the studio.

2. Carole King – Tapestry
I’ve been obsessed with this record in the last while. It is just banger after banger, it never stops. I especially love the use of piano in these songs. Piano was my first instrument and after almost exclusively writing on guitar, I was feeling really inspired to go back to the piano while writing Born Again. I also love that Carole didn’t consider herself “a singer” in the beginning, and started out writing songs for other people, and then she comes out with this perfect record – it’s unreal.

3. Death Cab For Cutie – Transatlanticism
This record came out when I was in middle school, and I’ve never gotten bored of it. I think everyone remembers exactly how they felt the first time they listened to Transatlanticism. It knocks the wind out of you. I love the long builds, the repeating phrases, the lyrics that break your heart into a million pieces. Also, the percussion! The drum machines, the tambourines, the tom beats – it’s good.

4. Taylor Swift – Red
Say what you want about Taylor, but she has a way of making me feel so seen. It’s like reading someone’s diary, but it looks a lot like your own. I love how candid she is in her songwriting – there’s no holding back, she just plainly puts it all out there like there’s nothing left to hide. It’s cathartic AND it’s catchy, you can both cry and dance to it and isn’t that amazing? This record in particular hits me hard. I’m pretty sure ‘All Too Well’ is the best breakup song ever written.

5. The Japanese House – Pools To Bathe In
When I was in the process of writing the record I was having a hard time concentrating at home, so I rented this little cabin (if you could even call it that, it was more like a tiny shed!) in the middle of nowhere on Lake Erie to get away and focus. I remember going for long walks down gravel roads just listening to this EP over and over again. The production is so good. I love the layered vocals over the minimalist drum beats, the synth swells, the guitar picking, all the subtle ambiance. It’s just totally beautiful and I found it really inspiring.

Thanks to ELLIS for sharing her favourite albums with us. Order your copy of Born Again here, and follow ELLIS on Spotify for more updates.

Photo Credit: Ebru Yildiz

LISTEN: Ellis – ‘Something Blue’

A melodic reflection on the gift of hindsight, Ontario’s Ellis laments about wanting to travel back in time on her latest single ‘Something Blue’. The track is taken from her recent EP The Fuzz, which will be physically released for the first time via Fat Possum records on 22nd March.

Ellis – aka Linnea Siggelkow – cut her teeth on her local DIY scene as a solo artist before evolving into a 4-piece band in 2018. Her gentle voice hosts both vulnerability and conviction, something which makes her new track ‘Something Blue’ so easy to listen to. Speaking about her new song, Ellis explains: “I think everyone has a moment that they wish they could time-travel back to and have a do-over. This song is about mine. Hindsight can be a real bitch.” We couldn’t agree more!

Ellis will play her first set of UK shows in May this year, which include dates at Glasgow’s Stag and Dagger festival and a headline show at The Islington in London. She will also be performing at SXSW too. With comparisons to Soccer Mommy and Mazy Star, we think Ellis is going to have a very successful 2019. Listen to ‘Something Blue’ below.

Pre-order your copy of Ellis’ EP The Fuzz here.

Ellis UK Tour Dates 2019
5/4/19 – Broadcast – Glasgow, UK (Stag and Dagger Festival)
5/8/19 – The Islington – London, UK

Photo Credit: Josh Howe

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut