Written by Maria Arroyo
Alt-pop singer/songwriter, Ellis, releases her extremely emotional album, Born Again, today. Linnea Siggelkow, a.k.a. Ellis is from Hamilton, Ontario, Canada. Born Again is a complete turn-around to what we have heard from her in the past but in the best way possible. Ellis realizes that this album showcases the amount of growth she’s had as a songwriter, and how she “explores more complex and honest themes, such as leaving her devout Christian upbringing behind, than her earlier work.”
“When the record was finished, I didn’t feel how I had anticipated I would…” Ellis explains. “I thought I was going to be feeling excited and fulfilled and proud of myself, but truthfully, I felt very depleted and drained and emptied out. The more I thought about why that was, the more I realized that I really did give this record all of myself, every last bit.”
Aside from having a sense of closure in the creation of Born Again, Ellis also hopes that this album can be a comfort for others or something to turn to when they want to feel less alone. “That is really the greatest takeaway I could ever hope for…”
“Pringle Creek’s” acoustic intro pairs nicely with her light vocals. The balance between the strong song structure and the striking melodic lines is showcased in this song and something that I continuously notice throughout the album. The buildup of instrumentation makes for a more emotionally-driven listen which is always amazing to have.
When listening to Born Again, I really got a taste for her growing songwriting ability: both in the way that she is able to culminate such a powerful story, but execute it so well that her song becomes undeniably catchy.
Sharing a more ambient and spacey feel is “Shame.” Once again, the buildup of this song is amazing, and even better when it fuzed into a more rock-driven sound. The feeling and emotions that she is backing her lyrics with are coming across 100%. I really felt the anger and frustration, and it’s something that takes her to the next level as an artist.
I love songs that make you think a lot more into the meaning, and the track “Embarrassing” did just that. There is a lot of soul searching to be done and a lot of questions to ask yourself, so having a song that I can dig deeper to has always been something I look for. The same can be said for “Fall Apart” as she takes us to an even more vulnerable side to her life. The lyrics “I didn’t mean to fall apart…” is definitely something that I can relate to. There’s always a huge fear in exposing yourself to others, and I think this song shared those same fears and worries.
Probably the most stripped-down songs of the album are “March 13th” and “Happy.” They were short little stories with beautifully written melodies with an outstanding accompaniment to match. I felt especially tied to “Happy” because I felt that it said everything I’ve ever wanted to say about the feelings that she shares. She strung an amazing set of lyrics together to tell one cohesive and moving story.
“Into The Trees” is a very emotionally-driven song. I appreciated the path she takes to tell her story through this song. The different sections that make up the song work well with one another and the choice to abruptly end the song were interestingly well done. Her last few songs “Saturn Returns” and “Zhuangzi’s Dream” are both very powerful and cathartic and were exceptionally smart choices for the ending of the album.
Ellis has really pushed her boundaries, both musically and mentally. While I’m so happy she put everything she has into this album, the fact that it takes a lot from her is definitely noticed and appreciated. She shares her story in hopes that it helps someone out there listening, and it takes a lot of guts to do that, and she did it flawlessly. Thank you for an incredibly amazing, raw, and moving album.
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