Music is something that, to us, and all of you, as listeners, is obviously so personal, but something that is always a breath of fresh air is how personal is it for the people who craft the music. This conversation with Ella Vos really gives a peek behind the curtain at everything that goes into writing and performing an album and shows how therapeutic the creative process can be.
We were already huge fans of Ella’s before doing this interview, but now we can confidently say we are full-on stans. We hope you love this conversation as much as we do!
Hi Ella! Thank you so much for taking the time to chat with us! To start us off, can you tell our readers how you would describe your sound to someone who has never listened before?
I’m really excited to answer these questions 😉 Thanks for having me! My music has often been described as ethereal, cathartic electropop! It’s honest and vulnerable and explores heavy subjects while staying uplifting and positive. Everything I share is personal and influenced by the life I have experienced so far! I’m inspired by artists like Joni Mitchell, Lana Del Rey, and Fiona Apple.
SUPERGLUE is out now. Can you tell us how the album came to be? How many songs would you say were created for the record that ended up on the chopping block?
At the beginning of 2021, I felt ready to begin another album adventure, and I knew how I wanted to do it this time. Previously I had been struggling to have a clear vision, but after a lot of brainstorming and reflection, it became clear to me. Tommy and I had been writing songs throughout the pandemic, and I LOVED them, which hadn’t happened for me…ever? Finally, I had songs that I wanted to listen to on repeat, songs I wanted to play for my friends, songs that felt like mine. It’s been a long creative journey to get to a place of creating a body of work I can feel proud of. There’s probably like, 10+ songs that didn’t make the album that I still want to finish and release at some point!
You worked on SUPERGLUE with your husband! What is that creative relationship like? Was there a discussion about wanting to work together, or did it just naturally start happening with all the free time the pandemic brought?
Tommy and I started dating in January 2020 and decided that we wouldn’t work together, because that can make things messy and complicated. But when the pandemic came, we started writing together because that’s what we both love to do. I don’t think our agreement would have lasted for very long either way, but the pandemic did speed things up. It was never “work,” though. We were experimenting, jamming, trying out new sounds, and just passing the time making music we liked. It’s easy to write lyrics with Tommy; well, actually, it’s easy and hard at the same time. Sometimes I just want to impress him, so I hold off til I feel like I have a really good idea to share. But mostly, it’s just easy to work together because we both have a similar vision and work ethic, and it’s just simply fun.
The title track, ‘SUPERGLUE,’ wraps up four videos directed by Kate Rentz. What is the significance of grouping these four tracks together? What was it about Kate’s vision that made you want to create with her?
These songs naturally tell 4 parts of the story I wanted to share visually, Rebirth, Growth, Transformation, and Ascension. The four classical elements – air, fire, earth, water – represent these themes and stories from the album. I’m deeply inspired by nature and wanted to infuse the visuals with beautiful scenes from my own backyard, the Angeles National Forest. Kate and I have been friends for nearly a decade, and she is not just a nature lover like me but is a certified Nature Therapy Guide. She’s a landscape photographer as well and just has a natural eye for the outdoor world. Since I began Ella Vos, it’s been Kate’s eye telling the visual story of my albums! I loved getting to create a third visual project with her 😉
You have said that writing SUPERGLUE was very healing. Does writing music from such a vulnerable place make the writing experience an easier one, or would you say it’s the opposite?
Yes, it’s easy in one way because I have lots of content to draw from… but it’s hard to access the deepest parts of your being all the time as well! I’ve often said, “I wish I could write a mindless pop song,” but I’ve tried, and I don’t like it. This is what is true to me. I think finding a balance is important, though. Some songs are written simply for the healing process and don’t need to live anywhere else but my voice memos.
Out of the ten songs on SUPERGLUE, what track would you say was the one you were most excited for fans to hear? And on a different wavelength, what song would you recommend to someone who hasn’t dove into your music yet?
I was really excited for my fans to hear ‘The Wash,’ track 9. It’s the first song Tommy and I wrote together, and we felt like it was so special we couldn’t share it with anyone for months. They’re all my favorites, but that one is very special. Inspired by bubble baths! If you haven’t dove into my music yet, I’d recommend listening to ‘White Noise,’ ‘Dreaming, Backwards’ and ‘Superglue.’ Those really are the sum of the three themes of my three albums.
The Microdose tour kicks off in May! What is something that has become clear about performing post-pandemic that maybe you took for granted prior to all of our worlds turning upside down?
I’ve mostly realized that it doesn’t benefit me to be gone for long periods of time on tour. It’s not good for my mental health or my family, so I’m really looking forward to the microdose tour, which is basically clusters of shows throughout the year! (Also, TBH, I haven’t had the greatest tour experiences…My first tour in 2018, I was diagnosed with cancer… and my second tour in 2019, me and my ex separated. ;))
When you look back at the artist you were in 2017, releasing ‘Words I Never Said,’ and compare that to now, in 2023, what do you see as the place you’ve grown the most creatively?
I’ve grown creatively in every way, but maybe I feel it the most in my songwriting. It feels pure and true to me and my voice, which is something I’ve been pursuing for so long.
Out of all the tracks on SUPERGLUE that don’t have music videos, which one would you love to create visuals for?
‘Baby Fever’ would be amazing to make a performance video of, with dancers! ‘Losing Battle’ would be a beautiful cinematic story to tell about my sobriety. ‘Pavement’ would also be epic. I can imagine a girl exploring an apocalypse earth…
Now that SUPERGLUE is out, what’s next for you? What can our readers look forward to for the remainder of 2023?
SUPERGLUE is out, but I still have more stories to share: demos, acoustic and live versions…and possibly more new songs as well! We will see…
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