What we all share is that our sheer existence relies on humanity’s ability to create, mold, and fracture our relationships. The tragedy of love is exquisitely presented in WILDES’ newly released EP, Let You Go. Each song represents a step of balancing love on a flimsy tightrope; some of us make it to safety, while others have to live with broken bones. WILDES’ soft passion draws you in with every word. It makes you remember every cut and scar. And yet, the rhythm and melody make you crave more, no matter how much it hurts.
WILDES is the moniker of the British singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist, Ella Walker; and through her new EP, she reminds us all that relationships, painful or exhilarating, are beautiful and worth understanding. No one goes unscathed when we let our hearts make the call. From that moment when “I cannot let you go” to realizing “why are we still suffering?”; the most wonderful thing of all is that we all recognize and relate. So love and lose. Listen and experience.
We are grateful to WILDES for her willingness to share her thoughts about her incredible new EP with us. Here is what she had to say:
Let You Go is a mesmerizing and beautiful EP, with lyrics that perfectly encapsulate many of the powerful emotions felt due to the complexity of relationships. Can you tell us about the overall lyrical subject matter of this EP?
I like to think of this EP as 5 (very exaggerated) stages in an intense relationship. You have that acute obsession at the start with Let You Go, which turns in to lust and undeniable happiness in True Love. This can quickly become toxic and unrealistic, and Stay really demonstrates how defeated you can feel when you can’t tell wrong from right in a relationship. Being blinded by love is a dangerous game, and you slip into a certain rhythm because it’s easier than facing up to reality… that’s where Circles comes in. You’re so busy living in that rhythm, you forget about your own happiness. I was incredibly inspired by friends opening up to me and being honest about their relationships, asking for help or just needing an outlet. As humans, we experience such a spectrum of intense emotion every day, but rarely ever express it. I wanted to explore this, and songwriting for me is the perfect therapy.
The Let You Go EP sounds stunning, with your brilliant vocals, warm piano, and strategic placement of instrumentation like violins, guitars, and percussion. What was the creative process like for capturing the impressive sound of this EP?
These songs were mostly written and recorded separately, and having that space to think and return to the EP was very important. The songs to me are emotionally complex, and the instrumentation had to reflect that. All of my songs start out as the bare bones – I like to layer up the textures and melodies and capture whatever was on my mind during the process. When I wrote and recorded Circles I was listening to a lot of psych music from the 50s/60s, so there are elements like sitars and fuzzy guitars that capture that, whereas True Love was written and recorded in LA, so there’s a balmy, sweltering atmosphere to the track – I wanted it to sound like a hot summer evening. Let You Go had to be simple, and just as we were about to press record, the rain started hammering down on the roof of the studio. I wanted to capture that atmosphere, so we ran to the hallway to record it, and that’s what you can hear at the start of the track. In the end, they all seemed to gel together quite naturally as an EP.
To conclude the EP you delivered a heartbreakingly gorgeous cover of Bob Dylan’s “Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright”. How has his music influenced your songwriting, and out of his hundreds of songs to choose from, what drew you specifically to “Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright”?
Bob Dylan was the first artist whose writing really grabbed my attention. His honesty and clarity made me want to write more and hone my craft. Being able to write a song that sounds as good on a battered, old guitar as it does with a full band is the ultimate sign of a good song. Bob’s music demonstrates that perfectly. ‘Don’t Think Twice’ has always been in my top 5 Dylan songs – it’s such a heartbreaker, and you can hear how defeated he feels when he’s singing it. I had seen Joan Baez perform it in London a couple of weeks before I decided to cover it… it just felt like the perfect song to pour a lot of emotion in to.
With Let You Go being your second EP after your 2017 Illuminate EP, do you have any plans for a full-length album in the near future?
I’ve been writing for my debut record for the last couple of months, and I’m just about to start the recording process. I’m really looking forward to releasing a much bigger body of work – I’ve changed and grown as an artist since the Illuminate EP in 2017, and this record will hopefully demonstrate that.
Do you have any touring plans this year where fans can see you perform?
I’ve got a London show on March 24th at Paper Dress Vintage in Hackney. I’ll be performing new, unheard music that I’ve been working on for my debut record too. Keep your eyes peeled for any future shows this year….
Let You Go EP release date: 01.17.20 | Label: Hometown Records
Image credits: Harriet Brown