Elle Mary

Elle Mary

Her ironically titled EP ‘Happiness’, released at the end of May, has given us an insight into Elle’s body of art and the brutal honesty of it is startling and stark.

Today I meet her in Fallow Cafe; she is sat in the back corner when I arrive with a glass of wine and her Apple Mac.

Her song, ‘Happiness’ is about being low and completely alone. But that song is now positive, a relief for Elle – If you know the lyrics, you’ll know what I mean.

If she pulls off every interview like this, she’ll be doing a whole lot more. Read our Q and A below and get down to M3 7LW postcode (search it on Google Maps) on August 19 to see a raft of artists she has decided to put on.

‘Happiness’ is the name of your EP, was that for a reason other than it simply being a song on the EP?

“I don’t like talking about my song lyrics, basically I like people to have their opinion and I don’t want to ruin it for them or make it better. The chorus is ‘happiness is a relief’ which I think is true but also kind of sad. It’s ironic; it’s based around something that I didn’t want to tell you. I’m going to try and tell you without telling you. So, I’ll just tell you. The opening verse is actually about suicide, its about some things that I’ve seen, I wasn’t ever gonna do it but I was very low, that’s kind of the point of doing music anyway to get you out of that. It’s a song about everyone. But I also named the EP that because to be honest I think it’s the best on there [laughs]. Although that song is quite dark, I’ve turned it around and now it makes me happy.”

How have you found the response to the EP?

“It’s a good response, it’s in small numbers but generally everyone who’s listened to it has enjoyed it. It’s on a homemade CD and Bandcamp. I’m quite bad for remembering to bring them with me. I am my own worst enemy [laughs]. I would have liked to have released it on vinyl but it’s too expensive. Everything we do, I fund so it’s just too much.”

How is it to support bands, when you’re playing to people who might not be exclusively there for you?

“It’s generally good I think. People who turn up early generally want to see the support act. We usually manage to get them quiet, which is great. That’s quite nice. The only time it’s a problem is when you’re supporting someone on a Friday or Saturday night. I’d like to do some more headline shows but only around a new release.”

Elle Mary's EP Artwork

Elle Mary’s EP Artwork

What have you been up to gig-wise?

“I’ve just supported Kone in London, I want us to play with each other again – Not like that [laughs].”

On a song off your EP you sing ‘Sister I’m going to take your man away.’ What’s that about?

“That’s like our only narrative song, I’m not sure how it works with the rest of the tracks [off the EP]. It’s not a true story, it was my take on a mistress who chooses to deny that this man she’s having an affair with doesn’t love her and is never going to leave his wife. He’s never going to give her what she deserves as a human being. She’s in complete denial. I don’t understand how people can sort of be so in love or so obsessed with somebody and be getting so little in return. Most people think it’s just ‘haha I’m going to take your husband away’ and it’s not at all. It’s just an idea I had. Their like ‘it’s the love of my life, it’s the love of my life’ and I’m like ‘really? Is it the love of your life? He treats you like crap’. But I’ve only written a couple of storytelling songs, like this one.”

Do you see it as part of your job to be honest?

“Yeah, writing about your feelings is never very simple though. You might say ‘I feel sad’ or something more expressive than that but it’s never about that one thing, it’s about a load of things. That’s why it’s quite hard to be like ‘oh it’s about this.’ I don’t really feel I’m giving too much of myself away.”

Do you feel you’re part of a community of Manchester musicians?

“I don’t think I am involved in it. I wouldn’t say I was in a particular scene. I know a few bands, like Mother, Lucy and the Caterpillar, Fruitbomb and Easykill. I know of bands but I don’t consider myself part of a group. The ones I like I will support and I’ll tell everyone I like to listen to them. It’s just a nice thing to do [laughs].”

Tell us about putting on your own shows?

I do it because it’s fun. It’s also because I want to see the bands. There’s a girl from France, Chicaloyoh who put a shout-out on Facebook saying she’s coming to the city and I was like ‘yeah I’ll put you on, I think you’re brilliant.’ I was like ‘well if no-one else is doing it, I’ll do it.’ At my next show, we have Chicaloyoh and Terrine from France, and The Swamps, TOOMS, and Achmel Vic all supporting Chicaloyoh. Artists and dancers will also be there.”

Is it hard to invest in the band and these shows yourself?

“I don’t find it hard because I enjoy it. It just means that I don’t go on holiday.”

Elle Mary

Elle Mary

Do you have to say no to going out for drinks?

“No I’m not that dedicated [laughs].”

You talked about maybe releasing an album?

“We’re definitely ready, it’s just about time and money. The songs are there, I do want to do it quite soon which probably means six months. I’d like to do an album without the band as well. I’m supposed to be doing a psych-folk project too this summer. It’s going to be just like a new band.”

Would you fund your own vinyl release for an album, after putting so much time in it?

“Yeah I would. I’m clueless on how to do that though, everyone is aren’t they? [laughs] I want people to enjoy it but not because they’re told to. I don’t think people realise how much they’re being marketed at. There’s a game to play. So whenever someone does write from the heart about my music, I do genuinely appreciate it because it’s real. I’m getting to the point where I’m thinking maybe I should ease up a little bit.”

Finally, after a gig, what has been the thing that has most touched you that someone has said?

“I don’t know because I’m usually running round on adrenaline going ‘aaaaaaaarrrrrrrrrrrrggggggghhhhhh.’ When people compare me to bands I actually like that’s really nice. Someone said Smog the other day and I was like ‘he’s my hero.’ It’s when I get things like Joni Mitchell, ‘I’m like get out.’ It’s like ‘you’re a girl, Joni Mitchell’s a girl’ [laughs].

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Paddy Kinsella

Hi all, my name is Paddy and I have a love for everything from African music to indie to house (basically anything other than heavy metal). Gigging and listening to albums are genuinely the things I most value and love doing.