PREMIERE: Julie Ellinor portraits the harsh feelings of loss and grief on promising taste of her debut EP

“Oblivion” is a beautiful musical reflection on some of the most difficult feelings in life.

Photo: Frederik Pedersen
Photo: Frederik Pedersen

“Oblivion”, the newest track from Danish singer and songwriter Julie Ellinor, is the perfect proof that some things are worth waiting for. The single is the first to be taken from her forthcoming debut-EP Flares in the Dark as well as it’s the first release from Ellinor in three and a half years.

Despite its raw edges, listening to “Oblivion” is kind of like getting a long, warm hug from someone you trust. It’s a folky piece of amazing songwriting, where everything from the catchy melody to the alternative pop-production adds to the overall feeling of wanting to hit repeat.

“Oblivion” is the result of Ellinor spending the past years working with her songwriting and meeting her producer Christian Alex Petersen. Together, they’ve found a way for Ellinor to work with her intuition and commit to the raw, edgy and unpolished sound inspired by the likes of The War On Drugs, Fleetwood Mac and Alex Turner of Arctic Monkeys.

The track is about loss and the fear of being left, but also about acknowledging that grieving over someone means that you’ve had the pleasure of loving: “But I know that I’m lucky to have had someone who make goodbye so hard,” she confesses as the chorus starts to unfold.

We’ve reached out to Ellinor to find out more about her as an artist and a human with real emotions.

Congratulations on your new single! How long has it been on the way? 

Thank you so much! I wrote the song in 2018, I think, with my good friend Rasmus in a few hours. And then when I brought it with me to the studio it was the first song we finished recording. Everything fell into place very quickly with that song. So it’s been alive for a while, and now I can’t wait for people to hear it.

You released your first official single in 2017, and then it’s been quite silent from your side – how have you been working on your music for the past three years, and what was the motivator to start releasing again? 

After I released my first single ‘Voyage’ in 2017, I needed to get more in touch with myself and my songwriting tbh. I basically didn’t know what I wanted to say as a songwriter. So I joined a couple of songwriting camps to push myself a bit. At the same time I was offered some support gigs, where I got to try out new songs in front of an audience, which is always a great way of finding out how you feel about your own songs. At one of those gigs I met my producer, Christian Alex Petersen, and he invited me to come over at his studio, Grapehouse Studios, to play some songs for him. In the meantime some huge changes happened in my life. All of a sudden I had something to say, a producer who understood where I wanted to go and slowly along the way we found a sound together. All those things combined made me start releasing again.

“Oblivion” is lifted off your forthcoming new EP – Is there an overall story or concept to the EP, and what role does “Oblivion” play in the overall storyline?

I like to look at it like the five songs on the EP are different stages of emotions I went through in a difficult time in my life. Oblivion is representing a grieve period I went through after losing a loved one, where my heart was just wide open, and the rest of the songs have their own themes too. But more about that when the EP’s coming.

“Oblivion” is about losing someone close to you and is inspired by your own life – why is it important for you to be able to share difficult emotions like these?

I guess it’s important for me to share difficult emotions like these because I’m not the only one who deals with those difficult emotions. A subject like grieve can be very difficult to talk about and even harder to bring up in a conversation. Hopefully, the song can contribute to reflecting on it easier. My utterly goal is to make music that inspires people. To do that I need to dig deep into real emotions.

What sound and feeling did you go after, when you wrote and worked on this track? 

The song came from a very honest place when I wrote it, so I actually didn’t have time to go after some specific sound or feeling beforehand. When my producer and I started working on it in the studio, we wanted the song to be raw and cinematic. It’s very frustrating to lose someone knowing you won’t get them back, so it was important to me to get that frustration and sadness in the sound as well. We also had fun playing with the outro of the song. We wanted the song to be tight and restrained right until the end where it all escalates.

Who’s your biggest female role model right now?

My sister. Always has been, always will be.
Professionally I’ve always looked up to Tina Dickow and the decisions she’s made in her career. She was also the first female singer/songwriter I could identify with when I started making music as a child.

What’s the most empowering word or phrase for you at the moment?

Capable. It’s such a motivational-speaker-thing to say, but you’re capable of so much more than you think.

What would you tell your 12-year-old self? 

– Stick with music. You’ve just picked up the guitar and although you’re
the only girl you know who plays it (and that fact makes you feel a bit
abnormal), you’re heading in the right direction.

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