Published Mar 31, 2020With her heart on her sleeve, Linnea Siggelkow wrote and independently released The Fuzz in 2018, her first EP under the moniker Ellis. It was a sparkling, washed out reverie of lost love, toxic thoughts and disorienting anxiety. For her anticipated debut, Born Again, the Hamilton-based musician digs deeper, letting her divine harmonies push forward, combating her vulnerability like a shamelessly cool intervention.
Where The Fuzz was locked in a moonlit, effects-riddled haze, Born Again finds Siggelkow overlaying glassy synths that enrich Ellis's brilliantly gauzy guitar tones. The injection of clarity is amplified on Born Again's gorgeous title track, switching between Siggelkow's deceptively lighthearted strums before giving way to a cryptic instrumental that acts as the song's imposing, wordless chorus just after she quivers, "I was smiling on the outside, on the inside I was screaming." Siggelkow tiptoes lightly at the start of "Into the Trees," weeping with pure innocence that slowly builds into a teetering rage that erupts with stormy guitars and crashing percussion. Born Again is full of these brief moments of pause and cathartic noise that express so much with just a few deep breaths.
Siggelkow's tenderly pitched voice makes you want to lean in to hear her secrets, like she is sharing her solitary thoughts. "Embarrassing" reckons with owning your feelings, and not feeling ashamed about having them. Similarly, "Happy" is admitting that sadness sometimes takes over, but it's okay, there are good memories and intentions to hold onto. Siggelkow's Born Again is fearlessly exposed, touching on emotions in the most direct way — an infectious, wondrous full-length debut for Ellis. (Royal Mountain Records)