ella jane dives into herself in her catchy, cathartic, and brutally sincere ‘Marginalia,’ an totally irresistible coming-of-age file of queer identification and internal reckoning. If she was a star on the rise final 12 months, then think about her star now risen and shining brightly.
for followers of Charli Adams, Lorde, girlhouse, Abby Holliday
Stream: “Warhol” – ella jane
What rising up actually is, I’ve come to search out, is the flexibility to confess to your self the truths you knew all alongside.
Tright here’s a ton we will take away simply from the title of ella jane’s sophomore EP.
Marginalia is an embrace of the stuff on the edges – per its definition, the phrases within the margins. It’s a light-weight shined onto the sidelines, the place the sunshine hardly ever shines. It’s an embrace of life’s finer particulars; the gildings; the little notes we make to ourselves as we go about our each day lives. It’s all these fleeting feelings and passing concepts we are inclined to overwhelmingly maintain to ourselves – the hopes, the fears, the insecurities, and the daydreams – all of which could very effectively by no means materialize, had been they not willed into existence, captured in writing after which sung in music.
These songs hit onerous, and each single one among them leaves a mark. Catchy and cathartic, intimate and unapologetic, Marginalia is the irresistible file of a queer 20-year-old artist coming of age in New York. It’s a snapshot of life lived briefly tales; the blueprints of an identification within the midst of its personal journey of self-discovery.
I ponder what you consider me
or in the event you’re pondering something i
hope in your head you’re good to me
are you able to see it clearly now
trigger currently i don’t have a form
I’m blurry strains and not using a face
so if you would like i’ll rearrange
switching all the colours out
i’ve been ready eternally to be seen
up on a white wall
i maintain twisting the picture til i’m not myself in any respect
‘trigger you’re keen on andy warhol
– “Warhol,” ella jane
Launched October 28, 2022 through FADER Label, Marginalia is aching emotion channeled by way of chic indie pop perfection. “I’m a sore loser who at all times falls for the winner,” ella jane sings three tracks in – and whereas she is definitely entitled to really feel that method at occasions, there isn’t a mistaking that she is the general winner right here.
It was solely about one 12 months in the past that we had been proclaiming jane “a star on the rise” for her debut EP THIS IS NOT WHAT IT LOOKS LIKE!, a 25-minute showcase of lyrical prowess, uncooked vocal expertise, and an acute skill to package deal each second with hints of darkness and light-weight, ache and sweetness.
“In many ways, she reminds us of The Love Club-era Lorde, both in her dynamic indie pop ethos and in her ability to capture fleeting emotions and special little moments in time,” we wrote at the time. “An intimate and electric indie pop experience, jane’s THIS IS NOT WHAT IT LOOKS LIKE! is a vulnerable and honest coming-of-age record that leaves no stone unturned and no feeling untapped. It’s euphoric; it’s limitless and immortal; it’s heartbroken; it’s anxious and depressed.”
THIS IS NOT WHAT IT LOOKS LIKE! spawned the hits “nothing else i could do” and “bored&blind,” introducing jane as an artist-to-watch and setting her off on the whirlwind that has been her very busy 2022.
Marginalia takes jane’s art to the next level, finding her diving even deeper into herself while simultaneously honing her already sharp pop sensibilities into an edgy, unparalleled singular force.
Produced by Mike Irish, this nine-track collection, which could very well be considered a debut album or mini-album (if she wanted to call it that), is as intimate as it is expansive: Brutally honest and beautifully soul-stirring, Marginalia cuts deep.
“Marginalia was my first real attempt at starting an entire project from scratch, so I think there was a lot more intention put into it – a lot of asking myself, ‘What do I really want to say?‘” ella jane tells Atwood Magazine. “I think that question made me feel a lot of pressure at first, mostly because my songs are typically so diaristic and autobiographical. What can I say that means something, that hasn’t been said before? But as soon as I started writing, I realized that I didn’t HAVE to make some grand statement; rather, the simple act of documenting my own coming-of-age as a queer 20 year old living in New York was statement enough.”
“I think that originally, I only had a very loose idea of what I wanted the album’s sonic, visual, and conceptual identities to be. And I’m super glad it stayed that way, because that lack of structure really allowed me to write freely instead of within whatever confines I set for myself. Like, I think I had originally imagined it taking a brighter sound more akin to “Time On” (the first song I wrote for the record). But as more songs started to take shape, most began lending themselves to a much warmer and richer sound. So figuring out that sound first and letting the rest follow felt much more natural.”
“To me, this album is my first real cohesive project. I feel like it’s the best reflection of my current tastes and writing style, without being derivative of my influences. I’m definitely proud of my last EP, but I’m excited to put a new foot forward with Marginalia – I think it’s the perfect introduction to my “world” for new listeners.”
Someone’s house with a city view
And a girl I’ve known for a day or two
Light a cigarette by the outdoor pool
If I hold my breath will you jump in too?
All of a sudden, I melt into you
And I don’t even know you,
But I’ll act like I do, ‘cause
I always end up doing shit like this
Saying “I love you” for a party trick
Drink your attention ‘til it makes me sick
Just for the night, I’ll make you mine
Just for the night, just for the night
Much has already been made of the record’s reflective title; for jane, Marginalia is the perfect encapsulation of all that’s within.
“The word “marginalia” literally means writing in the margins,” she explains. “It’s a title I’ve had written down for a long time, because annotating as a concept has always been super interesting to me; I’ve read with a pen in hand since high school. Most of my songs have a line or two that were inspired by something in a book I read, or from a movie or show I’ve seen. Even from real life conversations. So to me, these songs felt like annotations on a larger scale – a way for me to interact with and “mark up” the events in my own life as they happened or after the fact.”
“I used to think that growing up was synonymous with hitting certain milestones, like a driver’s license, or an 18th birthday, or maybe a high school graduation,” she adds. “But it’s not, of course it’s not. What it really is, I’ve come to find, is the ability to admit to yourself the truths you knew all along. Once you do that, you can start telling the truth to other people. And once you do that, you can start growing up. This project is a coming of age story. And if I want to connect to an audience who is also coming of age, then it is imperative I tell them my own truths.”
That coming-of-age story opens with the rising confessional “7,” a song about childhood and family and the indelible impact of our younger years on the person we eventually become. A reckoning and a realization all in one, it sets the tone for all that’s to come, catching that perfect blend of earworm melodies and unapologetically expressive lyricism that makes jane’s art so special. Previously released singles like “Party Trick” and “How Do I Lose You” served as particularly strong examples of jane’s poppier side – and indeed, “indie pop” is probably the right “box” to put her in, if you feel so inclined to do so – but as a comprehensive project, Marginalia is a blend of indie rock, folk, soul, alt-pop, and so much more.
“I really love the song ‘Sore Loser,’ because the style of it is the type of production I typically gravitate towards when I listen to music,” jane says. “As much as I love pop, it was really refreshing to give myself a little departure from my usual sound. I’m [also] really proud of the lyrics in “You Shouldn’t Have Said That” – there’s a couple moments in there that I spent weeks on, tweaking small words and syllables in a really calculated way. That really paid off. I feel like up until this record, I never really let myself have a moment to be silly and lighthearted in a song. But I snuck in this verse: “I st-stutter around you / called a speech pathologist / she said to fuck off and see my psychologist / looked for distractions, I found none at college / just rich kids from jersey and part-time astrologists / still thought about you, just now i know communists.” I think it’s fun.
If ella jane was a star on the rise last year, then consider her star now risen and shining brightly.
jane is currently in the midst of a nearly sold-out Marginalia headline tour that began in Boston in late October, and concludes in San Diego at the end of November. The tour is set to pick up again in early February.
As far as takeaways are concerned, jane definitely injected herself into this EP in a massive way – even if she doesn’t always identify with her confident, self-assured public persona. “This sounds kind of cheesy, but I genuinely just hope that listeners can relate to my experiences somehow,” she shares. “That’s all I can ask for as an artist. There’s no real takeaway for me besides that.”
A truly stunning and welcome October surprise, Marginalia is breathtaking in the best of ways. Whether you find yourself falling for ella jane’s repeated heart-on-sleeve proclamations of “I wanna be in love,” or see yourself as “blurry lines without a face,” this coming-of-age record embodies everything there is to love about musical inner reckoning and introspection. In discovering herself in the margins, ella jane creates a vessel through which we can dive deeper and connect with who we really are as well.
Experience the full record via our below stream, and peek inside ella jane’s Marginalia with Atwood Magazine as the artist goes track-by-track through the music and lyrics of her sophomore EP!
Stream: ‘Marginalia’ – ella jane
:: Inside Marginalia ::
It is a music about childhood, household, and the way the place you’re from can profoundly form you (even in the event you by no means realized it). It’s my private try to confront the previous whereas concurrently making peace with it. What initially started as a letter to my twin brother rapidly morphed into an apology to my youthful self- I by no means confirmed her sufficient love then, so “7” is my method of exhibiting it now.
“Time On” is about eager to really feel desired / questioning why you aren’t when confronted with rejection. It’s a typical expertise however an typically embarrassing and susceptible admission, so I hope that this music is a method for listeners to really feel understood and validated in a sense that’s probably not brazenly talked about. This was such a rewarding music to complete as a result of the writing course of took so lengthy – virtually six months – and every time I pay attention I’m reminded of all of the work that went into it. I wrote the chords in my childhood bed room on my school winter break final 12 months; sketched out the verses throughout midterms on a dingy follow room piano; completed the refrain lyrics per week later whereas buzzing within the communal showers.
“Sore Loser” is one among my favourite tracks on the EP. It’s a music about two kinds of jealousy: the type that develops when different individuals begin flirting with the particular person you want, and the type you’re feeling in direction of the particular person you want. The latter tends to be a uniquely queer expertise, nevertheless it’s one that’s as embarrassing as it’s isolating. Sadly, each are the price of being somebody whose “sort” is simply exceptionally stunning individuals… and each are the results of private insecurity. What I like about “Sore Loser” is how effectively the nice and cozy, laid-back manufacturing lends itself to the tongue-in-cheek lyrical fashion – the end result is a light-hearted but sincere exploration of that insecurity.
“Social gathering Trick” represents plenty of new and thrilling beginnings for me – for one, it’s the primary music I’ve ever launched that’s conspicuously, unmistakably a couple of lady. Although I’ve been open about my bisexuality for some time now, for a very long time I used to be afraid to write down about ladies in any apparent method. I believe it is because I wasn’t able to be absolutely sincere with myself. However piecing collectively “Social gathering Trick” jogged my memory simply why I write songs: to entry my truest, most susceptible self, unadulterated by the expectations of others.
Secondly, this music marks the start of a brand new chapter in my life, and I believe that actually shines by way of within the music itself. I’ve discovered an unimaginable collaborator in my producer Mike Irish, who is aware of precisely the best way to marry the choice and pop qualities of my writing in a very distinctive method.
YOU SHOULDN’T HAVE SAID THAT
Ow. Intestine punch of a music. I wrote the majority of it in half-hour proper after a really disappointing facetime name: the man I preferred on the time had simply informed me about some superb date he went on. Our friendship had been fairly flirty for some time, however as we turned higher mates and commenced to share extra of our private lives with one another, that meant listening to about all these ladies he was into. So on this explicit day it simply stung further onerous to take heed to him recount the main points of his evening, realizing what he’d stated to me previously. Therefore the road “you shouldn’t have known as me fairly and assume I’d neglect it / my reminiscence’s shitty, however god, it’s selective” – among the finest, most painful lyrics I’ve ever written. That ache turns into much more delightfully pronounced when it’s adopted by the huge distorted synth lead (a staple of David Marinelli, who produced the music) that appears to howl and weep because it tears by way of the guitar and soars throughout the drums. I’m so pleased with this music, and in a wierd method, so glad to have encapsulated this ache in such a particular method.
HOW DO I LOSE YOU
“How Do I Lose You” is a quintessential instance of how a lot I like to pair pretty sad lyrics with upbeat, danceable music. I get such a kick out of tricking the listener like that. So regardless of its fast tempo and jumpy melody, the observe is admittedly in regards to the anxiousness of being in an undefined, “let’s see the place this goes” sort of (non-)relationship. Musically, it’s positively one among my poppier efforts, however I like the way in which the manufacturing sort of indie-fies it. A part of that’s truly due to Orla Gartland (though I don’t assume she is aware of it but); I used to be actually impressed by this video she posted some time again the place she explains how she duct-taped the strings of an upright piano to create this muted, mallet-y sound in her music “Extra Like You.” I attempted the trick on my piano at dwelling, and shortly began bringing a roll of duct tape with me each time I went to the studio. It instantly turned a very large part of the feel of “How Do I Lose You,” and later many different tracks on my forthcoming EP.
A replica of a duplicate of a duplicate; so many variations of the factor that the factor itself loses all which means. It is a motif that runs all through a lot of Andy Warhol’s work, and one which impressed me. Nonetheless, whereas Warhol used it as a commentary on client tradition and movie star iconography, I associated it to one thing a little bit extra private: my very own identification. I truly had the title “Warhol” sitting in my notes part for a very long time earlier than I began writing it, and initially deliberate for it to be a music about this man who informed me I remind him of his girlfriend.
One thing sort of enjoyable and silly. However quickly the road “‘Trigger currently I don’t have a form / I’m blurry strains and not using a face” spilled out, and it rapidly turned apparent that I used to be writing about myself. I’ve at all times been a giant believer in pretend it until you make it, however the acceptance of my public persona – a way more assured, confident lady – as ME has made me query who the actual me truly is. So briefly, this music is an exploration of that.
“I Wanna” might be my favourite music of mine to this point. I initially recorded the refrain thought someday in 2021, however I actually bear in mind pondering it will simply lie dormant eternally – I simply couldn’t see the music going anyplace. That was, till final summer time, when a co-writing session discovered me addled with author’s block. As I dug by way of my voice memos in a determined seek for some seed, ANY seed, I stumbled throughout that first voice recording. The mumbled “I wanna be in love”s had been sufficient to spark inspiration, and I used to be capable of lay down the piano half and map out a tentative verse melody. The remainder of the music got here collectively within the type of late-night notes app poetry, then first drafts, then second after which third. Tremendous-tuning the lyrics within the studio as soon as I felt they had been near-perfect, I labored with [co-writer] Steph Jones and [producer] Mike Irish to seize the coming-of-age feeling we had been going for. To me, “I wanna” feels just like the fruits of so many moments, each in my life and inside the venture. However in the end, it’s a uncooked admission of the common want to like and be cherished, triumphant but susceptible because it programs by way of the electrical veins of a synth-pop anthem.
If I’m being completely sincere, I did write this music about Cassie and Nate from Euphoria. However it will be untruthful and a bit annoying of me to let you know that it’s in no way autobiographical; frankly, I empathized with Cassie greater than I’d wish to admit. For individuals who haven’t seen the present – Cassie is a lady who will do something to vie for the eye of Nate, who she has fallen in love with regardless of his abusive tendencies and romantic historical past together with her finest buddy, Maddy. Cassie is aware of that in Nate’s thoughts, she’s going to at all times be second to Maddy, however she nonetheless goes by way of determined measures to cling onto him as tightly as attainable. As a result of so long as he’s together with her and never Maddy, Cassie can persuade herself that she is the lady Nate actually desires. HEAVY, I do know, however I believe many people can discover ourselves in Cassie’s plight (even when we’d by no means say it out loud). Actually, all any of us need is to have the particular person we lengthy for need us again – so when you’ve got them even a little bit, wouldn’t you do the whole lot in you might to maintain them in your clutches just a bit longer? That is what “Crash Cart” is about: these determined, egocentric components of us that yearn for love even when we all know we’ll get damage within the course of.
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📸 © Paris Mumpower
:: Stream ella jane ::