Canberra singer-songwriter, Eleanor Ailie (ay-lee) has landed with her first single, “Lion”, from an upcoming EP due early next year. She’s a big voice, but on this track the title’s flipped on its head and Eleanor’s left lying in childlike sensitivity. Collaborating with local producer, Kay Ansah on this one, tonight we’re premiering the track right here and baring Eleanor’s memoirs and process.
“I think this was my first real experience with love-induced heartbreak. Despite having had romantic relationships before, it felt kind of childlike to know that. …I couldn’t do anything other than sing that ‘hee-e-e-e-heeey’ on my bedroom floor while playing the chords over and over on my guitar. That’s all that wanted to come out. And it just ruminated and followed me for days. After a while I was like okay! That’s the chorus; I have to work with this. And I filled in the rest of the song that night. It’s a simple meditation and I love it. I wanted to keep the chorus (hee-e-e-e-eeey) mantra like, in the production, using multiple voices to try and burst into another dimension.”
This burst, while obviously being a symbol of healing, is almost a cry to sisterhood by the end of the song as if one woman’s feelings could be another’s.
When Eleanor contacted Kay for production she was a little bit nervous – “We were friends and I didn’t know whether he’d want to work together.” She just had a gut feeling to call him.
“It seems silly now cause I feel like we get into each other’s heads quite easily. Actually, on the day, we were tracking the demo to Lion, Kojo (Kay), and I were having a conversation about something and my friend, Dan Rooney, played a bass line and I stopped and was like ‘What was that? We’re using that. I want that.’ And Dan tracked the part, which became the bridge. We ended up starting production from the bridge.”
The production really mirrors the journey of the healing process and aids the story. Inspired by nature and movement, Eleanor wanted to try and catch a visual for the song, shooting a video with friend and filmmaker, Luke Patterson, in Kaleen Pines. With a very small crew (the two of them, and Luke’s brother), it was a hard feat, but they managed to shoot across two nights in freezing Canberra weather.
“I live right next to the Cotter River, which inspires many of my songs and I go down there to process my thoughts, swim, do nothing or write. Sometimes I sit down there till dark. For the video I wanted to create a moon river atmosphere where I could dance and be intimate and powerful and animalistic in all the right places to try and show the journey. That’s why I wanted to do the video under the moon, just as it began on my bedroom floor – with me totally desperate, singing to the big moon.”
You can stream the tender tune below:
“Lion” will be available for streaming tomorrow on Spotify, iTunes and all other major platforms. In the meantime check out Eleanor Ailie’s Facebook page for gig updates here.