Elle Músa's new EP sun, sun sun, is out now! We chat to the musician about the release and more.
Brisbane pop artist Elle Músa recently unveiled her shimmering new EP, sun, sun sun, which documents the many facets of love and vulnerability across five indie-pop tracks.
Sonically capturing moments of paradise, the release comes alive with vivid imagery through imaginative lyricism, set stop intricate instrumentation that breezes through like a sunny day. Full of tranquil moments and dreamy soundscapes, sun, sun sun was created across the globe, with tracks written across the Sunshine Coast, Sydney, Portugal and Bali.
Featuring previous singles Bibi's Bay, Merman, Geminis and Mango Pops, the EP's latest single, Coco Honey You And I, continues the musicians exploration of vivid storytelling, with her relatable and vibrantly poetic lyricism weaved carefully throughout.
A trained musician and vocalist, Músa has been composing and performing original music in Australia and internationally years prior to the release of her debut release. Her musical influences vary, from Sinatra to Cohen, Blonde Redhead to Devendra Banhart - yet Músa’s sound remains very much her own. Along with her career in music, Músa has also expanded and built on her creative skillset as a short film producer and visual artist; her artwork being featured on display in a number of private Australian galleries. The singer created the EP's artwork, an acrylic painting on paper.
sun, sun sun is out now! Read our interview with Elle Músa below.
Tell us a bit about how you began your musical journey...
I have been playing piano and singing since I was a little child but writing my own music started when I left school. I was in a band called ‘Founds’ for about 3.5 years and then went on to create my own music. I started off improvising on piano and slowly began to write my own songs over the years. Around 4 years ago was when I figured out my style and the vibe I wanted to express myself.
Congratulations on the release of your EP sun, sun, sun! The collection of songs documents love in a variety of facets. What prompted you to explore the themes present on the release?
Thank you! I am always writing very fluently and without much thought. I usually begin a song by improvising and the words just come to me. I am very inspired by Bossa Nova, especially songs sung by Astrud Gilberto. I adore French singers like Claudine Longet and grew up listening to a lot of love songs. It just feels the most natural for me to explore my romantic side and my vulnerability.
You began working on the record quite some time ago. How did the release evolve and change over that time period?
The songs were written on guitar and piano so they began very simply and had a more melancholy tone. They evolved significantly when my friend Geoffrey Roberts came to produce and record with my partner and I for a week. I shared all of my inspiration and the styles that really make me happy and we tried to make some magic happen and build up the songs with instruments and rhythm. I think over time they developed a distinct oceanic/ island-paradise vibe, which I love.
The release was written in multiple locations around the world, almost serving as a map of the places you’ve been, and emotions you've felt. What emotions and memories do the songs conjure when listening to them now?
I remember living in Portugal in the winter and feeling a bit isolated but highly creative. I remember the beautiful city and the beaches we would visit on freezing days. A memory comes to mind of finishing writing Bibi’s Bay in Bali whilst sitting on my bed beneath the mosquito net. I remember the day I wrote Mango Pops on the coast after I had just woken up. My boyfriend had luckily been recording me play otherwise I would have forgotten the song. I remember lovely days spent at Noosa beach with friends and family eating mango ice-creams. I remember writing Merman in a van in NSW after a really bad night sleep next to a beautiful ocean.
Emotions I feel whilst listening to the songs are nostalgia, joy, love, sadness.
The themes and stories present on the release are authentic to you. What was the hardest part about creating a body of work that is so personal and documents your own life?
I don’t really find it hard to sing and write authentically as that is just the way I am. I think the hard part for me is wanting to feel connected to others through my music and sometimes you don’t feel that because everything is online and doesn't quite feel real.
How did you arrive at the style of music and sounds present on the release?
Naturally, but also through exploring the sounds I love in music with the producer Geoff.
If you had to pick one song off the EP to play to someone who had never heard your music to make them an instant fan, which song would it be and why?
Probably Mango Pops because it is so uplifting.
If sun, sun, sun was a piece of visual art, which artwork would it be?
The artwork I painted for the album cover.
What messages do you hope listeners take away from the EP?
That we are all one, that love conquers all, the simplest things in life are what makes us the happiest, you are not alone, keep dreaming.
Australia has a diverse and vibrant music scene, who are some of your favourite Aussie acts and why?
My favourites are Tame Impala, Flume and Flight Facilities because everything they create is just genius.
The current pandemic has obviously put a halt to touring and performing live, what are your touring plans post pandemic? If any, what can people expect from one of your live shows?
My plan is to create beautiful and intimate shows in nature. People can expect intimacy and a very nervous Elle singing her heart out haha!
Astrud Gilberto, Henry Mancini, Blonde Redhead, Joni Mitchell, Leonard Cohen
I’d LOVE to collaborate with Harry Styles, Frank Ocean or Lana Del Rey.
Album that has had the most impact on you?
It is so hard to choose one... Astral Weeks - Van Morrison, 23 - Blonde Redhead and All Our Cymbals - Yeasayer.
How do you define your musical style in 3 words?
Naive, oceanic and colourful
A musical release you are most looking forward to in 2021?
I would love to hear from Frank Ocean!
If you could create the soundtrack for any film, which one would it be?
Call Me By Your Name
Hannah Montana or Miley Cyrus?
The best/most memorable show you’ve ever performed?
The one in my head haha!
Album you would listen to on repeat on a road trip?
At the moment it is What’s Going On - Marvin Gaye or Invisible Cities - Les Halles when I want to chill out.
Best concert you have been to?
I saw Portishead at a festival which was insane...best concert would be Coldplay when I was 13. I have never screamed or cried so much in my life.
Last concert you went to?
It has been TOO long.. I think just a small show in London by this strange but really amazing Jazz band.
If you were a Spice Girl, what would your spice nickname be?
Guilty music pleasure?
Actually lately it has been the Spice Girls!
If you could support any artist on tour, who would it be?
Harry Styles or Leonard Cohen if he were still here.
An artist you think has had the most influence on the music industry.
Quincy Jones or The Beatles.
What advice would your current self, give your future self, for a year from now?
Focus on connecting with others and nature most.
The moment you knew you wanted to be a musician?
When I saw the movie The Party with Claudine Longet when I was about 4.