Welcome to The Fresh Squeeze, where every Monday and Friday, BLUNT gets down to the wire with an up-and-coming act we simply can’t get enough of.
In today’s shiny new edition, we get the juice on New York indie-pop artist Ella Jane, whose debut EP – the seven-track THIS IS NOT WHAT IT LOOKS LIKE! – paints a powerful picture of a singer-songwriter bound to take over the world sooner than later. For a record that spans less than 25 minutes, it takes the listener on one hell of a journey: from the bassy, shimmer-heavy glisten of ‘nothing else i could do’ to the heady and heartfelt acoustic jam ‘Thief’. Jane dropped the EP back in September, and followed it up just a month later with ‘Calling Card’, a track that blends everything great about THIS IS NOT WHAT IT LOOKS LIKE! – the club-ready pomp of its top half and the soul-baring warmth of its tail – into three minutes of pure magic.
We caught up with Jane around the time THIS IS NOT WHAT IT LOOKS LIKE! came out. We’re glad we did, too – give it six months, and she’ll be too busy headlining festivals and swatting off paparazzi to even look at us lil’ junkyard dogs.
Who’s in your band, what do they play, and what would be your non-musical superpowers?
For now, the band is me, and then these guys Skylar (bass) and Noah (drums). I actually haven’t played with them yet – we’re starting rehearsals in October and I’m psyched! As for non-musical superpowers, I would kill to know every language ever. Such a power move.
When you’re not tearing shit up on your instruments, what do you legends like to get up to?
Dude, I can’t stop crocheting for some reason? I’m not particularly good, but I also can’t seem to stop. I have also been watching obscene amounts of RuPaul’s Drag Race.
What would your hometown’s landmark be?
The parking lot by the train station [laughs]. There’s not much to do in my town, if you can’t tell from that answer.
What’s the usual first topic of conversation when you take a break at rehearsal?
Well rehearsals haven’t started yet, but I assume it will be dumb shit probably. Showing each other stupid tiktoks, most likely… wouldn’t have it any other way.
What’s your pre-show warm-up routine?
Oh, I get reeeeeal superstitious. I’m a big wood-knocker – I get that from my anxious family. I do warm-ups into a straw, drink throat-coat tea, and listen to some Melodrama-era Lorde or Robyn – something big and exciting and shoutable to get me excited!!!
Tell us about your most memorable show, what made it so special?
I came up as an artist during quarantine, so when I reached the point in my career where I would in any other circumstance be starting shows, I was just stuck at home. But that made the first show back a lot more rewarding, I think – it was tiny, and I was opening for my very talented friend, Cece Coakley, on the roof of my apartment for a bunch of friends. It was so lovely to have my first ever performance since 2019 be in front of people I love. It eased a lot of my nerves, too, and made me really excited for my upcoming shows in December.
What band would you most like to share the stage with and why?
Oh man, definitely HAIM. I’ve never even seen them live, but even watching videos of their shows, you can just feel their energy radiating through the screen. Performing with them would be a dream.
What’s the most exciting album you’ve listened to recently?
Not an album, but I’ve been so obsessed with Dora Jar’s latest EP. I think she’s just so underrated at the moment, and her writing is beyond incredible. The sound is so unique and fully her.
If you could be endorsed by one company, who would it be?
Nutella. Probably not the answer you were looking for, I just love Nutella.
Why are you going to make it to the top over all the other contenders in the musical arena?
I think there is so much amazing talent out there, but I feel like my writing is what makes my music unique. As long as I have involvement in my music – which I always, always will – it will sound like me. I also think I have a good head on my shoulders [laughs]. I stand by my values and beliefs no matter what, and I don’t ever act like I’m above any of my fans. I’m a young music fan with a life and problems of my own, so I never interact with them like I’m superior somehow. I think that fan connection will help me go far – it’s their trust and love that keeps me grounded.
THIS IS NOT WHAT IT LOOKS LIKE! is out now via FADER. Check out ‘Through The Looking Glass’ below, then click here to stream the EP.