etherbaby is the product of singer-songwriter Elodie’s explorations of emotional landscapes through the lens of her experiences. A project four years in the making, she releases etherbaby’s debut EP Don’t Be Yourself, Be Happy – a statement to the artist persona she has created as well as the themes of control, conformity, identity and manipulation she explores in the EP. Elodie is a jazz singer, but etherbaby is a sponge for influences, fusing her jazz background with the styles of indie pop and creating surreally soulful dreampop soundscapes upon which synths and percussion texture the production. She has an emotive and expansive vocal style, allowing her to fill the entire room much less the four-track emotional rollercoaster that is Don’t Be Yourself, Be Happy.
etherbaby came out of the need to create music free of the baggage of my “self”. I just wanted to make it clear that most of my work is not autobiographical. It’s me filtering my experience through characters. The name literally means “born out of the ether”, ie out of thin air, which came out of a poem I wrote. The idea was to create a persona that exists solely in the music and for the music. I’m definitely not the first musician to do so.
At 20 years of age and 3 of the tracks written in 2016, etherbaby is able to channel the rawness of these intensely emotional experiences as they came – in the process of building her identity and the burden of selfhood, she charts her journey to liberation through relationships, solitude and the weight of being your own person. She is really good at this evocative storytelling, in translating passion to song. I Don’t Care starts there, freeing herself from a manipulative relationship by asking a series of introspective hard-hitting questions set to funky cascading electronic ripples and sick psychedelic synths in the break. Breaking Down follows, a more up-tempo but dreamy exploration of loneliness – the hard questions that you can’t help but ask yourself in the silence of the void. It is disruptive of her definitions of self, but gives us a cinematic soundscape to introspect. Always is a breakup song, much more minimal in its approach to crafting melody, but so much more heart-wrenching in that setting. Nightmare is its optimistic and triumphant aftermath, finally claiming a sense of self in the ashes of it all – like a phoenix.
I personally think that the bedroom-resurgence of indie pop really provides a contemporarily intimate setting for music-making, and I feel like I’ve taken this journey of self-realisation with etherbaby with its enchanting and psychedelic synthwork. She’s got the raw passion for the craft, bold and eclectic with her infusion of styles and a seamstress of rich and evocative soundscapes. Don’t Be Yourself, Be Happy is a tastefully crafted grapple with the more intricate deliberations of who we are and how we came to be them, be sure not to miss it!
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