Photos C/O Ariel Bader-Shamai
The music video for Ellis’ first single “The Drain” opens with less than a second of television static. That glimpse of static appears several more times throughout the course of the video but it’s more than just a motif for the video, it’s the overarching theme of her debut project, The Fuzz.
Ellis is the musical project of Hamilton-based singer-songwriter Linnea Siggelkow, who derived the name from her initials. Her sound was once described to her as emo dream pop and this is the label she assigns to it. It is beautiful, dramatic and sad music.
The Fuzz, which dropped on Nov. 9, is a collection of songs that Ellis wrote around the same time. She independently released the six-track project, which includes her first two singles “The Drain” and “What a Mess.” The EP gets it its name from the feelings that Ellis felt while writing the songs.
“[T]he fuzz is… this metaphorical place like the noise on a TV screen. It’s just the lack of clarity… a feeling of being lost and a place I found myself in often and… where a lot of the songs came from was feeling sort of disoriented and confused and uncertain in this sort of metaphorical place,” Ellis explained.
On Nov. 28, Ellis will be playing at The Casbah for her EP release show. While performing makes her anxious, one thing she loves about performing in Hamilton is being able to see the familiar faces of her friends and collaborators in the audience.
Not originally from Hamilton, Ellis loves the creative and caring community that she has found in the city. On The Fuzz, she collaborated only with the circle of talented individuals that she feels lucky to call her friends. Being able to trust her collaborators was important in creating this personal project.
In order to share some of the meaning behind her intimate tracks, Ellis created a zine with collaborative partner, Sean Richman. The zine features a spread for each song consisting of photographs, handwritten lyrics and GPS coordinates for significant places.
“I’m trying to create a mood… and I think to me the project is moody. But I also want it to just be beautiful… I love having visual elements. I think it’s a great way to connect the listener with music in a different way… I hope it’s a way of, if people are interested, going a little bit deeper into the songs themselves,” Ellis explained.
While the personal nature of the project means that it’s hard for Ellis to discuss all the events that inspired the EP’s tracks, she wants listeners to be able to relate to and resonate with the music. For her, making music is a way of processing emotions and using them to create something productive and tangible.
She started playing piano as a child since her mother was a piano teacher. When she was 12 years old, she began playing guitar and writing songs. Song-writing is very much ingrained in who she is.
Her song-writing process begins solitarily, which lends itself to the intimacy of her music. She always begins with a lyric and then builds up the song as much as she can on her own before she brings in her collaborators.
Ellis was deeply involved in all aspects of The Fuzz. She co-directed the videos for “The Drain” and “NYE” with her friend Andy Friesen.
“I think for this project it’s been mostly DIY… I definitely like to have my hands on as many things as I can to do with the project. I feel a bit possessive of it,” Ellis explained.
This homespun approach has created a sound and visuals that feel attentively crafted and beautifully raw. In the new year, Ellis hopes to create a full-length album and tour, allowing her to share her stories of fuzz and freedom with more of the world.