Katie Ellen - "Still Life" LP
3. Still Life
4. Adaptation of Para Todos
5. Lighthouse (Reprise)
katie ellen is: singer/songwriter Anika Pyle and collaborators Dan Frelly, Anthony Tinnirella and Lou Hanman (RVIVR, Caves). Pyle and Frelly started the project as a two-piece lo-fi pop outfit in 2015 after the disbandment of their former group Chumped. They released their debut, full band LP 'Cowgirl Blues' with Lauren Records in July of 2017 and received praise from Stereogum, Noisey, NPR, WXPN, NY Mag’s Vulture and others.
The name is an adaptation of Pyle’s great grandmother’s radio stage name - “kaytee ellen.” The original Kaytee fought the radio industry on the rights to retain her alias and professional identity after leaving her original station - KTLN - but ultimately lost the battle. This familial narrative inspired Pyle to explore themes of womanhood, gender identity and control - both creative and personal - and looked at the project as a way of “taking back” power from the corporate patriarchy. This informs a lot of Pyle’s songwriting on ‘Cowgirl Blues;’ she explores the historical legacy of female hysteria, anti-marriage activism, and even expectations of sexual performance in committed relationships through personal, emotional experience set to lush but slightly twangy, 90-s inspired power pop.
On ‘Still Life,’ katie ellen’s latest EP release, Pyle, Tinnirella, Frelly and Hanman give a diverse snapshot of their potential as composers. In just five songs, the record hearkens to That Dog and Liz Phair with punchy melody and tasteful harmony, richly textured Camera Obscura indie, Phil Spector-esque pop ballad, and even post rock and bedroom folk. Pyle’s lyrical styling is concise, personal, emotional: “patient one, I always leave the light on. can’t get nowhere when the goings all gone.”
“Still Life” begs the question of love: how do you make something so elusive sit still? How do you make it stay? Is it the case that the more you try, the more fleeting it becomes?
Pyle’s answer: “true peace is hard to find. even harder to hold in your mind. you can’t make love stay. do your best to hold it in place”
LP First Press: 500 w/ Etched b-side (200 Translucent Orange, 300 Lavender)
CS: 150 Golden Rod