“Poetry, nature and literature inspire me when it comes to songwriting. Musically, however, I am inspired by the purity in both Joni Mitchell’s and Rae Morris’ vocal expression and musically By Bonobo, The Punch Brothers and also a lot of jazz…”
…and doesn’t it just show? From the second you hit the play button on up and coming musician Ella Squirrells’ debut EP, “Loop”, in which, although the influence of the named artists above is easily recognizable, is far from definitive of the Dorset born Ella’s new project, progressively growing and evolving in itself, despite being only 4 tracks long.
“The concept behind Loop is about trying to understand your internal dialogue; the conversations in your mind that you have with yourself about everything – relationships, friendships, they are constantly going around on loop.”
Right from her poetic, musical upbringing, surrounded by creative individuals and parents alike, Ella continued to keep music close to her and loved to see others connecting with the music she performed. However, as she grew, her music also followed suit, and such transition is reflected in ‘Loop’, kicking off with the first track “Trouble”, immediately ensuring the listener knows this isn’t just another pixie head-band guitarist type of performer, but a genuine artist, whose sound has developed and delved into more vocal focused work, endeavoring to make the voice the main instrument.
“We were all fairly wary not to steer the project into one particular style or genre because of the likelihood of possibly sounding like everyone else. We wanted to produce something unique. The individual vibe of each track came from the collaborative input from each musician, coming into the studio and playing with the tracks one by one.”
The vision of this project was to let the vocals really flow with the tracks and throughout the record but not be dominated by the music, if anything to enhance Ella’s soothing vocals. Bringing us to the title track “Loop”, probably the highlight of the project with her vocals drifting to the jazzy breeze of an instrumental, shining some sun on the EP, whilst lyrically contemplating love, friendship and that ever so fine line between.
The biggest moment in young Ella’s career so far has been performing on the acoustic stage before Ben Howard’s show at Birmingham’s Barclaycard Arena in April earlier this year. Naming Ben Howard as another influence, Ella comments on her ambitions for her musical career despite the commitments full-time education will require with…
“It’s a work in progress, so I don’t know where it will take me. I’m just happy that we have been able to produce a decent record & have the opportunity to get it played to some people who may like (or hopefully love) it! The plan is to keep writing & recording – playing music and expressing things that are important to me through music, let’s see what happens!”
Birmingham producer, Tony Juke is also due his praises for this vocally colorful free-spirited vibe EP, “he developed the tracks and brought in all the different musicians to perform and add their characteristics.” Explains Ella, before moving onto Baz Bayliss the Sound Engineer at Gospel Oak Studios in Warwickshire also produced some amazing work on the record.
Despite Ella’s already well-established experience in music, there’s still progress to be made, not to take anything away from this incredibly crafted EP ‘Loop’, truly placing the gentle easing, yet strong voice at the forefront of each track, and she’s looking forward to this challenge as she made clear with her final response to the attested question all musicians can struggle with…
Do you prefer the stage or studio?
I prefer the stage to the studio. There is nothing like a live performance. I love-making a connection to people in the audience – it is really rewarding to play a good gig that people enjoy. However, I do really love being able to work in the studio. I am looking forward to my next sessions!