Elisabeth Elektra was first introduced on our website through a live show review. Catching the attention of our writer Payne and giving us intrigue, we went ahead and conducted an interview with Elisabeth Elektra based on her latest single and upcoming album! You can pre-order the album HERE and you can stream 'Crystalline' directly below!
Hi there Elisabeth Elektra, and welcome to Brutal Resonance! Let's start off with a bit of an introduction to yourself. Give us three of your favorite albums of all time and tell us why you like them so much.
Elisabeth: Hi! Thank you so much for having me. Here are 3 records I love. "Purple Rain" by Prince. It’s just perfect, start to finish. It actually blows my mind that there could be so many classic songs on one single album. Prince allegedly wrote ‘When Doves Cry’ in one night, inspired after he had his first meeting about the film Purple Rain. I think he was pushing himself in terms of production. It’s a really weird and brilliant record production-wise too. ‘The Beautiful Ones’ is probably my favourite vocal performance of Prince’s, and ‘I Would Die 4 U’ is my favourite song. "Hejira" by Joni Mitchell. I love this record because it’s so self-reflective. Joni clearly wasn’t making Hejira to appease or appeal to anyone but herself, and I love that about it. To me, Hejira is an album where we are witnessing a woman grow in to herself. It’s unbelievably poetic, even by Joni’s standards, and has some of my favourite lyrics of hers, especially on the title track ‘Hejira’ and ‘Song For Sharon’. I love this album and it’s accompanied me through many different stages of my life so far. "Hex" by Earth. I am a huge fan of Earth. Dylan Carlson is definitely one of my favourite guitarists. This record is really meditative for me, it’s so evocative and energetically heavy in a way that to me is quite unique. Dylan once asked me if I would sing on a record he was making about human + faerie encounters in the United Kingdom, but it never came through, still a bit gutted about it tbh.
And let's dive into some history on your project then. When did you first take interest in making music? Specifically the synthpop side of things. Did you idolize anyone who helped you grasp life as a musician?
Elisabeth: I literally can’t remember a time that I didn’t want to make music, it’s just always been my greatest love, I don’t think I could stop even if I tried. The synth pop thing felt right for this album ‘Mercurial’, it’s the way the songs felt they wanted to go. I’m really inspired by a lot of artists who make me feel anchored and fed by their creativity and dedication to their craft. If I had to pick one who has inspired me most it would be Prince.
Where did the name Elisabeth Elektra come from? Was it just a catchy title or is there a bit more to it?
Elisabeth: It’s my real name! Well, real in the sense that I was using it in my personal life for a long time before I decided to use the name in my music. My music project name used to be Zyna Hel, but everyone in my personal life knew me as Elisabeth Elektra, so it made sense to use EE and close the gap between my creative and personal identities.
From the descriptions I've read of how you present your music, I could describe you as a synthpop witch. Ethereal themes of magic and metaphysics permeate your music. Could you describe to us how exactly you found this sound and imagery for your project?
Elisabeth: As an artist I really just respond to what feels right. I write my music very intuitively, and the themes that have in my upcoming album ‘Mercurial’ weren’t consciously planned at all. I have always been interested in and involved in the occult and esoteric, it’s a big part of my life. I’m a practicing witch so I guess it makes sense these things would feed in to my music. The sound was intuitive for sure, but the aesthetic and image were more consciously created as a response to the music alongside my dear friend and collaborator Marina Fini. Marina is a huge inspiration to me as an artist and a person.
You have a new single coming out soon titled 'Crystalline'. The press release stated that you're attempting to take the listener to your own strange and watery world. What exactly is the single about?
Elisabeth: Crystalline is now out! You can watch the video for it HERE. It’s a song that came to me in a dream, I’m still not totally certain of it’s definite meaning, it’s still revealing itself to me. It seems to be about connection and transcendence of physical limitations, I think it might be some kind of transmission reminding us all that we are more than just flesh and bone.
You also had a previous single 'Obsidian' come out back in August of 2019. I read that the song was originally written in 2015; can we expect to see further songs from the past resurface for the future? Or is it all up in the air?
Elisabeth: Actually this whole album is songs I wrote a while ago. The oldest is over ten years old, the most recent was written in 2016. I am including a bonus track exclusively for people who buy my album on Bandcamp which won’t be available on streaming services which is a song I wrote a few years ago. I’m also considering releasing an EP of older material. But I have so much new material - about 30 songs and I’m writing more all the time - so they make take a priority in terms of future releases.
This single is, of course, teasing your upcoming album that's due out on May 8th, 2020. What can you tell us about the album? Can you give us a track list, a theme, or even a glimpse into what we can expect from it?
Elisabeth: The album is called Mercurial. Creating it was a cathartic process for me. Here’s the track listing!
01. I Am The Love
02. My Sisters
03. My Armour
And just for people who buy the album directly from me on Bandcamp there will be a bonus track not available elsewhere.
With the new single and the album coming out this year, are you planning on gigging or touring in support of the album? And do you have anything else planned for 2020 such as further singles or remixes?
Elisabeth: I’m just organising some shows now, to be announced soon! I have another single coming up soon ‘My Sisters’, and a few other videos which I’m really excited about. I’ve worked with some brilliant artists and videographers and I’m really looking forward to being able to share what we have made!
I've seen praise for both you and your project (both on social media sites and from our very own Anny Payne). Has it been a surreal experience garnering this much support? And did you ever expect to amass such a following?
Elisabeth: I’m very grateful for all the support I receive. Making music as a solo artist can be lonely. It’s nice to know what I do connects in some way with people.
This is a question I love asking as it allows me to discover new music, but what have you been listening to lately? Any new or upcoming artists you can highly recommend?
Elisabeth: I’m really obsessed with SRSQ’s music at the moment, although I’m sure you know about her already. I’m also really enjoying The Academy of Sun, Lady Neptune, Daisy and The Dark and Rookes.
Lastly, I would like to thank you for your time. The space below is yours to say anything else I may have missed or mentioned, or to simply give your social media accounts a plug. Cheers!
Elisabeth: Thank you for reading this interview! I’ve set up a pre-order on Bandcamp for ’Mercurial’. If you buy the album there you’ll get it on the 1st of May, a week before everyone else. As I mentioned previously you’ll also get an exclusive bonus track as a thank you for supporting me through Bandcamp!
I've been writing for Brutal Resonance since November of 2012 and now serve as the editor-in-chief. I love the dark electronic underground and usually have too much to listen to at once but I love it. I am also an editor at Aggressive Deprivation, a digital/physical magazine since March of 2016. I support the scene as much as I can from my humble laptop.
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