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

Track Of The Day: Art School Girlfriend – ‘Come Back To Me’

A delicate blur of dreamy sounds designed to pine over; ‘Come Back To Me’ is the latest single from Margate-based producer Art School Girlfriend. It’s her first release of 2019, and draws a full circle to her debut ‘Bending Back’, which she describes as its “lyrical inverse”.

Art School Girlfriend is the moniker of Polly Mackey; a producer, multi-instrumentalist and vocalist from Wrexham, North Wales. Since moving to the British seaside town of Margate and opening her bookshop “Spine Books”, Mackey has spent most of her time creating new recordings that reflect the space and clarity she has found since her move away from the crowded city to the coast. Speaking about ‘Come Back To Me’, she explains: “The song is quite transparently about lust and being out of control of your own desire. It’s about wanting someone to come to you and how that yearning can be simultaneously enjoyable and torturous.”

Mackey performed at this year’s SXSW festival and will be joining The Japanese House on her April & May US tour dates too. She’ll be playing some UK shows before she sets off (see dates below) so make sure you catch her when she’s in town. Listen to ‘Come Back To Me’ below and follow Art School Girlfriend on Facebook for more updates.

Art School Girlfriend 2019 UK Tour Dates
02/04 – Bristol, Louisiana
03/04 – Leicester, Cookie
04/04 – Leeds, Hyde Park Book Club
05/04 – Newcastle, Cluny 2
06/04 – Glasgow, Hug & Pint
07/04 – Manchester, Soup Kitchen
09/04 – Birmingham, Hare & Hounds
10/04 – London, Omeara

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

Track Of The Day: HOST – ‘Taste of Your Love’

An electro-pop gem that contemplates the short-comings of an unhealthy romance; Irish artist Host has shared her new single ‘Taste of Your Love’. Taken from her upcoming debut EP Adolescent Content (set for release later this year) the synth-pop star channels her love of bands like Diiv, Wolf Alice, The Japanese House, and The Cure on her new tune.

Speaking about her new track, Host explains: “Have you ever had someone you really care about do something so idiotic that it makes you look at them in a completely different light? ‘Taste of Your Love’ is that lingering bad impression that I just couldn’t shake, and everything built with this person, this solid foundation, just turned to quicksand. It’s sad really… this idiot, that you still adore nonetheless, has now forced you to cut them out and change your entire life.”

Despite its sad premise, we guarantee Host’s new single will have you up and dancing around your bedroom in no time. Listen to ‘Taste of Your Love’ below and follow Host on Facebook for more updates.

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

PREMIERE: La Lune – ‘Love/Sick’

Brighton song-writer La Lune has released her ear-melting new single ‘Love/Sick’, which you can listen to below. We’ve been keeping track of this elusive newcomer since she shared her debut EP Bliss with us in February, and her latest offering is equally as dreamy.

La Lune’s material is mainly autobiographical, but on ‘Love/Sick’ she approached songwriting from a different angle. Speaking of the inspiration behind the track, La Lune says: “I was giving a friend of mine some advice, as they were having relationship-troubles. They said to me, “we’ve got a lot to undo,” and that phrase really stuck with me, and inspired the chorus of the song (we often joke that I should give them lyric credits). I think ‘love/sick’ sounds a bit different to what I’ve released before, which was my intention. I wanted the subject matter to be kind of sad, but to juxtapose this with a relatively upbeat song. I really like it when songs do that”.

Inspired by the likes of The Japanese House, Lorde, James Blake & Bon Iver, La Lune has been creating her own music for just over a year. ‘Love/Sick/ marks a more “summery” direction for the songwriter, but her sharp production skills ensure she’s still creating her trademark understated, gentle, cleanly produced sounds.

Listen to ‘Love/Sick’ below, and follow La Lune on Facebook for more updates.

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut