Ellie Ford is a Brighton based folk musician whose music is understated, thought provoking and thoroughly absorbing. It is something to give yourself up to, submerge yourself in and then let yourself drift along on the gentle sway of the vocal, guitar and harp.
Ellie’s debut EP, ‘Show Night In’ is going to be released on the 6th September and we think it it is rather lovely piece of work – and hope you do too!
Hi Ellie, how are you doing?
Hello. I’m really well thanks. Busy, I’ve been so busy recently planning for the EP release…but it’s all coming together now. I think I can start getting excited about it all now!
We’ll talk about the excellent song writing and great voice in a minute, but what else should people know about Ellie Ford?
Thank-you. Well alongside music I also do animation and illustration, I like writing too, and painting…its all part of the same art really, it just takes on different forms.
Making something that didn’t exist before is brilliant, I completely love it.
How do you describe your music?
I’d say its Folk, in that it’s a continuous cycle between old and new. The songs are honest, forthright and constant. For it’s musical simplicity, there’s quite a lot in it. But you don’t have to get it all at once.
You’re just about to release your debut EP ‘Show Night In’ – how excited are you with the record?
I’m so excited about it…and to be honest, quite relieved! Its taken me quite a while to get anything recorded…and I’m so pleased with how it’s turned out that I actually really want to share it. That’s rare for me actually! I tend to be quite critical and a little guarded with my work.
I’m looking forward to getting back to spending time writing new stuff.
Did you record it locally? Do you enjoy the recording process?
Yes, it was recorded in a beautiful little studio in the countryside just outside of Brighton.
I actually find the studio a rather intimidating environment and I feel under quite a lot of pressure. One of my friends says recording immortalises the song, and I agree, you are making something that has the potential to go on regardless of you…so you want it to be right.
At the same time, there is an incredible sense of closure when you finish a record. It sort of takes the pressure off a little, you’ve got it…there’s no more re-working it. Once its done its done, and you can move on. That’s something I enjoy.
‘Too Late’ it is an intricate and totally absorbing piece of work – please tell us some more about this song.
‘Too Late’ is really a medley of 3 or more songs, but condensed into one…it’s one of those that I had to stop myself with, otherwise it would have just gone on forever!
Sometimes, as a writer, I find that’s one of the hardest things to do…to tell yourself ‘that’s it, it’s finished’. Its quite a skill to be able to finish something, I’m not very good at that, but I’d like to be more like that.
‘Too Late’ is recorded totally live (as are all the other tracks on the EP) I wanted to record the performance as well as the actual song…and I think it really shows.
The Harp features prominently on this EP – how did you and this instrument find each other?
Well I grew up playing the piano, and gradually began playing more and more guitar as I started writing more. I never thought I’d learn to playing another instrument, but it didn’t really feel like I was learning at all.
To me, the harp is a mixture of both the piano and the guitar, it makes complete logical sense, like a piano, but you can sort of play it like a guitar.
And then I just learnt by watching videos of Joanna Newsom…seriously, if it wasn’t for her I wouldn’t even know how to sit at it!
How long have you been living with this particular collection of songs? Do you have a favourite?
Some of these songs I’ve had for years, these are 3rd versions of a couple actually! ‘Show Night In’ was the last song I wrote, and I wrote it only a few weeks before recording. It sort of pulled everything together, and made a link between them all, I didn’t really know where it was going until then.
I don’t have a favourite. I like them all. But I can’t really listen to them, I find it really distracting.
‘Low’ is our current favourite – it is heart-breaking, haunting and stunning in equal measures – being so emotionally charged is a hard song to play?
No, not at all.
I think sometimes it’s quite hard to command the attention that is needed to play an emotionally exposed piece…because it isn’t always immediately engaging…but once you have that attention, the rest is actually really easy.
Will you be playing live shows to support the EP?
Yes. The launch gig will be held at St Mary’s Church in Brighton on September 6th. Its a stunning old church venue with all the original décor…it’s just a really lovely place to play music.
Starts at 7:30pm, tickets are available from the record shop Resident in Brighton.
Where can people find out more about Ellie Ford?
For news, release updates and more information on live shows go to www.ellie-ford.co.uk or www.facebook.com/elliefordmusic. ‘Show Night In’ will be available to purchase from www.ellie-ford.co.uk from September 6th.
But really, I think music needs to be experienced live…so come to the gig!