As an artist, Ella Vos is only four tracks old, and already, her music has won admirers across the globe. She’s an artist who arrived on the pop music stage gently, almost like she was one of us, after a long journey of refining her craft and strengthening her formidable, beautiful voice. Vos committed herself to the study of classical music right from the tender age of five and continuing through college and playing with various indie bands.
However, it was a SoundCloud entry that first turned heads in her direction; back in early 2016, Ella Vos lent her voice to Just a Gent’s Rolling Dice. Even with minimal promotion, the song generated a lot of plays and a lot of interest.
And then, later last year, when Vos announced the release of her debut single White Noise, the crowd couldn’t wait. Here too, Vos took the less-trodden path. Instead of marking her entry into the world of indie pop with a foot-in-the-water love song – home base for many artists – Ella went straight for the big guns. White Noise, as it turns out, was about new motherhood and postnatal depression, though you could be forgiven for missing the heart-wrenching undertow in the lyrics at first listen. Truthfully, several of Vos’s fans mistook the song for something less deep, until Ella herself clarified the details in a tweet.
Based on ideas stemming from the days in the artist’s life when she struggled to get her newborn son to fall asleep and had to resort to filling her house with white noise, Vos’s debut single was a sensational hit that left fans wanting for more. And she didn’t disappoint. With her next, titled Little Brother, Ella Vos drew inspiration from her relationship with her younger brother, once again exploring the emotion of family relationship through her unique perspective.
Come 2017, her third track, gorgeously christened Down in Flames, gave us an insight into something a little more ambiguous (by the artist’s own admission). It’s certainly darker and resonates solidly with people who have survived toxic relationships.
For many of her fans, Vos is the radical voice that the world of pop music needed. The core subject she picked for this single was the divide between the generations about the prospect of giving women the right to make their own choices with regard to their bodies.
Curiously, although Vos’s music has thus far broached a number of weighty, sensitive issues, the songs themselves feel ethereal and delicate, landing their punches with subtle electro-pop rather than big, obvious attacks; this is music made by a woman with complexity and confidence at the core of her work. This, along with her unconventional choice of themes, has set Ella Vos apart already; and every step she has taken in her budding career thus far has been steady and certain.
Her next stop is at San Francisco’s very own Swedish American Hall this Thursday, the 29th of June. And if, like her most ardent fans, you cannot wait for the day, then here’s one of her most personal numbers, Little Brother, to keep you company until the 29th.