gglum 'The Garden Dream' LP
Pre-order. Due 29th March.
Limited clear orange vinyl.
As she’s gotten older, Ella Smoker has found that her subconscious has been trying to tell her “some pretty wacky stuff”. Thoughts will come to the 21-year-old singer-songwriter in dreams, or as she writes lyrics in studio sessions, words floating onto the page before she’s really had a moment to realise what they are. “As soon as we start making the music, my brain sort of turns off,” she explains. “I’ll be sitting there, writing all this stuff that feels like a load of nonsense, and a month later, I'll look back and be like ‘oh’. It all comes from a place I didn’t even realise was there.”
In learning how to open up to herself, gglum ended up finding a kindred spirit in producer Karma Kid (Maisie Peters, Shygirl, Connie Constance), pushing past her natural bedroom-pop introversion to find joy in the process of collaboration. Whether it’s the ragged radio-rock of ‘SPLAT!’ (“basically about realising that somebody you held up very highly is actually just a massive shambles of a person”) or the riotous, industrial energy of ‘Easy Fun’, Smoker is able to reshape her vocal around the mood, creating a record which expertly balances light and shade. “I've never really done anything in like that vocal style before,” she says of ‘Easy Fun’s near-spoken delivery. “I love that song because it’s not something I would have come up with on my own, but Karma Kid was great at pushing me out of my comfort zone. I just thought like, look: I can be a little silly with this.”
The release of ‘The Garden Dream’ will offer gglum plenty more opportunity to get both silly and serious, to be bold in her exploration of new ideas and sounds. But it will also offer the opportunity to further accept herself as the dreamlike artist she always wanted to be; confidently embellishing acoustic worlds that her listeners can burrow safely within.
“I feel like I naturally gravitate towards wanting to make musical spaces that you can feel like you’re living in, rather than trying to make songs”, she says. “That's something I really wanted to solidify with this album: I basically want to make music that feels like when you're looking out the window and it's the end of the film and you're imagining what comes next. That's the sound of what I want to be doing.”
Label: Secretly Canadian