Kate Ellis – Bluebirds and Rye (2021)

There is a strong bond that exists between a mother and child which can defy all existential obstacles. Mothers offer love, advice and a caring that comes from no one else (or at least, that’s the idea), and Kate Ellis showcases her maternal side when speaking to her daughter in the single ‘Bluebirds and Rye’. Yes, that’s all good and well, but who is Kate Ellis?

Born in the United States of America but now based in the UK, London to be precise, Ellis fuses Leonard Cohen’s intensity with Gillian Welch’s intimacy in her music. After she decided to pick up a guitar and move away from her law degree, Ellis began writing evocative songs with intricate themes. The release of her debut album Carve Me Out gained her critical acclaim from various blogs, such as Maverick, RNR Magazine and Americana UK, but it was her UK tours that stamped her reputation as an engaging live artist. The latest addition to her discography is ‘Bluebirds and Rye’.

Following her well-received single ‘Another Way’ (read our review here), ‘Bluebirds and Rye’ adopts a traditional folk style with flowing melodies. Using an acoustic guitar, Ellis immediately sets the scene of an emotional and vulnerable story. The charming harmonies between the guitar and her tender vocals showcase a heartwarming intimacy without too many “bells and whistles”. Moreover, the hushed effect aligns well with the message of ‘Bluebirds and Rye’ – a poignant interaction between mother and daughter.

The second single from her upcoming album Spirals, an album filled with soul-searching songs, ‘Bluebirds and Rye’ has a personal touch with the individual narrative. As is mentioned above, this single is written as words of advice for Ellis’ daughter. She shares that she “…wrote this for my daughter who, like me, is an emotional girl. This is my letter to her telling her I know what she’s going through and it can feel hard but everything’s going to be fine in the end. The song is about recognising the patterns in myself that I can see getting passed on. I want to tell her to just take a breath and find a moment of rest.”

Captivating and soothing, ‘Bluebirds and Rye’ has a melancholic feel to the lyricism, however, it also leaves traces of optimism, hopefulness and empowerment. An inspiring and anthemic song, ‘Bluebirds and Rye’ can leave you with goosebumps on your skin and a warm feeling in your soul.

In addition to the single, Ellis released an official music video for ‘Bluebirds and Rye’. Using basic images with “cut-out” pictures, we follow a young girl through different settings as she heads off on an adventurous journey. I feel a childlike quality to the video prompting a type of Alice In Wonderland design, but overall it is an innocent film with charming images. A visual representation of the song’s overall theme, one can feel a palpable message being shared from mother to daughter in a charmingly lighthearted but intense way. Big bonus: the video does not use any strobe lighting effects and will not cause seizures in people with photosensitive epilepsy.

For more from Kate Ellis check out her official website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Spotify.

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