PHOTO COURTESY OF LANDON SPEERS.
It’s about that time in the workweek where we mutter “morning, again” as our A.M. alarms sound, but at least today we can begin with a new song from Elisa, one that suggests she feels the same way (however in a more meditative, comprehensive sense). “Morning Again,” which premieres below, is the eponymous track from Elisa’s forthcoming EP, due out May 2. It’s both upbeat and poignant; experimental looped percussion and dreamy synths are paired with thoughtful lyrics that embody the pain and concern for society Elisa felt as she was writing.
“I wrote ‘Morning Again’ as a response to the culture of violence that seems uniquely pervasive to America,” says Elisa. “At the time, I felt as though I was (we were) waking up to a new tragedy every morning—another innocent life taken by police brutality, another woman victimized by toxic masculinity, another mass shooting. Things seemed to be exploding all around us in rapid succession and it felt very necessary to write about it.”
The track was born out of a simple lyrical concept, and Elisa knew where she wanted to take it. “Musically I knew I wanted to create a slow boil,” she recalls, “something that felt kind of cool and subdued with a constant groove and a melody that crept along in a low range for a while until it finally spiked and spilled over, like a crisis.” The 25-year-old Rhode Islander channeled ‘70s rock band Blondie when she sat down to write “Morning Again,” which she finished in one sitting. For Elisa, the song’s title also applies to her EP because “it really informs the overall sentiment of this project.” As she explains: “It’s a play on words—meaning both ‘morning’ and ‘mourning.’ I seem to only be able to write from a place of longing and loss and that was certainly true of this new collection of songs (most are about a failed relationship) so I’m sort of poking fun at myself for being a bit depressing.”
Elisa’s sound seems like a rarity in today’s music scene: she is unafraid to play with funky percussion and be “whimsical and experimental,” despite the deep emotional meaning behind the lyrics she writes. “People often call my music ‘80s-inspired pop’ and while I’m definitely a fan of that era (who isn’t?), I don’t think I’ve ever consciously set out to parody it,” she says. “I just love those glossy, sparkly sounds that feel instantly transportive.”
MORNING AGAIN IS OUT MAY 2, 2017. FOR MORE ON ELISA, VISIT HER INSTAGRAM.