Weekend Playlist: Songs That Feel Like no place that feels like

Ellis (aka Linnea Siggelkow) shares the songs that inspired her new record.

Ellis is the recording project of Hamilton, ON-based singer-songwriter Linnea Siggelkow. Ellis’s new record no place that feels like is out today, so to celebrate, Linnea put together a playlist of tracks that inspired the creation of it.
— Annie Fell, Editor-in-chief, Talkhouse Music 

Guy Sigsworth, Imogen Heap — “Sing”

I first heard this song at an immersive Van Gogh exhibit and had to look it up immediately (of course it was Imogen Heap)! It’s entirely a capella, just these reverb-drenched, drone-like pads layered with all of these gorgeous harmonies. I love the idea of utilizing a vocal as an instrument — which of course it is, but in this very tangible and beautiful way. 

Veruca Salt — “Disconnected”

This has got to be one of my favorite songs of all time. When I first discovered it, I listened to it on a loop for hours. The lyrics tell this very vivid story about heartbreak with so much honesty, at times with only a drum beat behind Louise’s soft vocals. It’s so simple in its melody and minimal in its instrumentation, but it evokes so much feeling. Towards the end, there’s this really cathartic build as the narrative shifts from hurting to hopeful, then fades into nothing as she leaves us with a whisper, “Watch me, I’ll touch the sky.” 

Radiohead — “Karma Police” 

Radiohead is easily my favorite band. I am constantly inspired by their songwriting and musicality (the soundscapes, the textures, the time signatures!). But I specifically reference this song on the track “Obliterate Me” in the context of screaming along to it while driving fast down the highway, which is obviously based on a true story.

Sixpence None the Richer — “Breathe Your Name” 

I was listening to a lot of ‘90s jangle pop-rock when I was writing this record, and I love the way that acoustic instruments are used to create shimmer and texture. This song feels so full and bright! I love the layers of electric and acoustic guitars, the tambourines, the piano lines, the… xylophone? It’s just so good.

Slowdive — “Alison” 

People have often asked me if I grew up listening to a lot of shoegaze and I really wish I could say that I did, but I was unfortunately not that cool. It’s been a more recent discovery for me. But I am in love with the soundscapes, particularly in this song. The guitar tones are so gorgeous and have had a huge influence in the design of my pedalboard.

Taylor Swift — “Last Kiss” 

While everyone was assuming I was listening to ‘90s shoegaze I was probably actually listening to Taylor Swift (lol). I vividly remember when this song came out, shortly after having my heart broken for the first time. It made me feel so seen in my sadness. All I can ever hope is that any of my songs could ever provide that sort of comfort to someone who might need it.

Gregory and the Hawk — “Boats & Birds” 

I have loved this song for such a long time. Everything about it is just so soft. I love that it doesn’t have a typical song structure, it reads more like a poem. It’s a love song at its core, but it’s not so straightforward. It’s about loving something so much that you’re willing to lose it — ugh!

Carissa’s Weird — “They’ll Only Miss You When You Leave”

This song is just so, so beautiful. The delicate piano and mournful violin lines overtop the picked guitar makes me want to cry, even before the vocals come in. The quick drum buildups come in energetic bursts and then fade to almost nothing as he sings, “The storm will slowly close in on me when it’s time to leave.” That lyric has really stuck with me!

Grouper — ”Headache”

I love everything that Grouper does, but this song was especially inspiring. I love the big, dark, atmospheric synths that envelope the sort of relentless, down-strummed power chords on the electric guitar. It serves as a good reminder that, when it comes to production, sometimes less is more.

Kathleen Edwards — “A Soft Place To Land” 

I discovered this song while I was working on my record and couldn’t get enough of it. I felt like it summed up a lot of what I had been feeling in such a concise and beautiful way. The instrumentation is also mesmerizing and I later discovered that it was co-produced by Justin Vernon, which made so much sense. The whole record is really great and special!

Bon Iver — “Woods”

Speaking of Justin Vernon, I am obsessed with this song. I had never experimented much with vocal effects beyond reverb, but I was feeling inspired to try new things with the vocal production on this record, particularly using hard-tune, vocoder, and pitch shifting, which turned out to be super fun and cool. It’s so interesting to me how many ways there are to manipulate an organic sound so that it becomes something entirely different. The possibilities are endless! I find that really exciting.

(Photo Credit: Stephanie Montani)