Elín Ey is hesitant as she attempts to explain the origins of her new EP, ‘Gone.’ Granted, it’s been 11 years since the songstress last released an album, and it’s clear that the interlude has been a time of growth and development. To distill a decade down into a few words seems, well, impossible.
Gone and reborn
“I was originally going to make an Icelandic album actually,” Elín says, referring to her hiatus. “Something that was a combination of singer-songwriter music and more electronic vibes. I have a lot of songs and was going to release an album, but it just didn’t sound right”.
Eventually, she explains, she put the stalled Icelandic songs aside and joined up with her brother. Together, they were eventually able to find a soundscape and atmosphere that she was happy with, and, in January, the long-awaited ‘Gone’ was released.
The title is appropriate. Gone, indeed, is the singer-songwriter, folky tones of Elín’s past work. Instead, the soulful and bluesy elements of her style are paired with a sleek, electronic sound. The overall expression comes across as polished, mature and deliberate.
But Elín is reluctant to pigeonhole herself into any particular style. “When I was doing more folky stuff, that’s definitely what I wanted to do at the time. But also just being me with the guitar—there came a point where I felt kind of stuck in that genre,” she admits. “Sometimes I feel like you have to kind of sell yourself as one genre, as a particular kind of artist—but I’m trying to tell myself that I can just do whatever I want to do.”
Finding the space
Releasing ‘Gone’ seems to have cleared a space for Elín to explore these different styles and ideas. In her voice, there seems to be a palpable sense of relief that the music is finally released. Elín has very high standards for herself and her work. ‘Gone’ was originally meant to be a full album, she explains, but just before it was released she stripped it back to the five track EP, saying she just, “wasn’t happy with all of it.”
“I have something in my mind and it just takes time to find what it is I’m looking for—and maybe that is perfectionism, I don’t know,” Elín says of her process. “I felt like my mind was so set on an album, but now that I’ve put [‘Gone’] out, I feel more free to revisit this other music and release it individually.”
In addition to the upcoming release of new singles, Elin is putting together a band and planning live shows this summer. It seems like Elín Ey is truly back, and this time, she intends to stick around.
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