On ‘Bad Behaviour‘
This is a body of work where these songs were just so important for me to write and put out for me to be able to move forward and grow. When I was making this album, a lot of bad things were happening around me, and I feel like with this record I’ve faced those things, acknowledged them, written about them so that now I can move on and grow. You have to sit in that, recognise that and acknowledge that and deal with it and talk about it and my way of talking about it is writing songs. It’s a really important record for me. I write for me – this is my therapy, I sing what I can’t say. I know that without me even having to think about how people will connect with these songs – people will. The s**t that I’m writing about is s**t that most people go through, which is f*****g s**t, but everyone goes through a lot of hard stuff and I feel like people will hopefully resonate with this album and feel like they can connect to it.
No Plan B
I wrote this song during the pandemic at some point. I had to go back to a part-time job when I had been doing music full-time for ages, so it just felt like a massive step back. I remember I got a job at this coffee shop and after my first shift, on the bus home I had my first ever panic attack – just like getting in my own head. I was thinking Everything’s fucking falling apart – everything just felt at that time like really scary. I’ve never really had that thought before where it’s like, okay, if I don’t actually do music, what the fuck am I gonna do? And that was the first time I’d ever really had that feeling, and it was really, really scary. I think so many creatives put their whole life on the line and it’s what you work towards forever and ever. If you have to come to this realisation that maybe it’s not gonna work out for you it’s really, really, really scary – so that is how ‘No Plan B’ came about. Now I feel really glad because when I listen to this song, I feel empowered and thats why I wanted it to be the first song on the album as well, because it’s like, I have no plan B and this is why. It’s a reminder to myself that you don’t need a Plan B – you’ve got this. That’s why I wanted it to be the first song on the album too, ’cause it’s like – “Right here you go guys, this is why I don’t need a Plan B. Sit back and enjoy the album.”
For me, this song is like the start of the Bad Behaviour journey. The whole concept of the album is about bad behaviour. A lot of shitty things were happening around me when I wrote this album so I really started to analyse people’s behaviour traits and my own behaviour traits and this song really is the fundamental core of this album. It’s about a being a child – it’s a really sad song about child abuse, sexual abuse. It was a really difficult song to write as I’m speaking from my own experiences and someone very close to me’s experiences. It’s probably one of the hardest songs I’ve ever had to write, but it also was the easiest song I’ve ever written. It really captures the essence of what this album is about – but I think if it was the first song on the album, it probably would’ve been quite a depressing start. It’s gonna be a tricky one to get up and have to sing live because it’s such a raw story but an important one.
[This] is about being young and slowly having to grow up, let go of a lot of things that maybe you’d rather not let go of and change. We’re continuing on that journey of progression through life and that’s what ‘Growing Pains’ is all about – just starting to grow up and finding it difficult having to face change. I think some change is really hard but obviously it’s really important for growth. There might be people that you want in your life that are no longer in your life or friends you thought you had that maybe aren’t your friends and all those sort of things.
I think this was the last song that I wrote for the album. I just felt like I needed something on this album that had some grit and some balls – channeling the essence of Bad Behaviour – and I think you get that with trouble. It’s got a lot of energy and I feel empowered when I sing this song. It’s about realising you are maybe in a situation or a relationship [where] you know it’s no good and you are kind of trying to navigate how you’re going to get out of it – you’ve been a little bit trapped and you realise that you are somewhere you really shouldn’t be.
Fool’s Gold feat. Mahalia
I wrote this song years ago – honestly, I’m gonna say like seven or six years ago. I wrote this with Felix and Aston who I make all my music with and we wrote it originally with an artist called Bibi Bourelly. She’s an amazing songwriter and an artist in her own right. She came over and we wrote this song and originally Bibi was featuring – she was singing where Mahalia is now singing, but it felt like such a long time had passed and Bibi was sort of doing her own thing. I just felt like if I could get anyone to feature on this single, on this track, who would work and feel right for me? Features aren’t something that I’m massive on, so it had to be really right. My music is so personal, so I just knew whoever featured on this song, it had to be be personal. Mahalia is a friend of mine and I thought she would f**king kill it, so I just asked her and she was really up for it. It was such a lovely experience, it was so easy. She came to the studio, rewrote the verse, recorded it in a day, and we just hung out. I’m so glad that we put this song out because you write so much music and so much of it never makes the cut, but we wrote this song and we listened to it again seven years later and it still sounded just as good. So we were like, “We’ve gotta put it out there.”
I wrote this song quite a while ago with Aston and Jay Keys – who’s playing the keys. It’s very stripped back, it’s very emotional. For this album, I analysed a lot of other people around me and how that affects me, but this song is me reflecting on myself. The lyric is “Is love always selfish or am I selfish in love?” It’s kind of me looking into myself and asking myself – why am I finding it difficult to let people go?
Take a relationship for instance, this song isn’t about a love relationship – it’s about a friend relationship, but sometimes you have to let people go in order for yourself to grow and for them to grow. That can be really difficult. Sometimes you don’t want people to go and you wanna keep them by your side, but you know that’s selfish for you and for them. It’s just a song and a reminder to myself that sometimes you have to just let people go. It can feel hard in the moment, but now it all makes sense from letting this person go, I have grown and they have as well.
Loving You (Is Losing Me)
‘Loving You Is Losing Me’ is just this really beautiful, joyful song that I wrote with Aston. Our plan was – we had these songs and we didn’t do any more writing, Aston was just coming in to tidy up everything and make it all sound amazing. It’s really difficult to not want to just create – everybody finds that finishing is the hardest thing to do. So we had to be really strict to not just sit at the piano and then get lost and start writing another song – but we did, it did happen. It happened once and we wrote ‘Loving You is Losing Me’, and I’m so glad that we did because I feel like this record – is what was missing. Just this sweet moment where everyone can just have a dance and it just feels really good.
This is another really sad moment when I was feeling really low and struggling a lot with my mental health. I remember I put this song out and everyone was kind of like, “Wow, are you okay, Elli?” And I was like, “I’m okay. I am.” but I just I needed to offload. I do this thing where I write these really sad songs, but I make them sound playful and cheery and I think maybe that’s my way of dealing with difficult situations. It’s been really amazing actually putting this song out because it was very raw and honest and so many people have related to it. When I wrote this song I felt really alone, and now it’s obviously made other people feel seen and less alone, but that made me feel less alone, and I don’t think I’ve really experienced that before through my songwriting. When I write, I don’t really think about how it’s gonna affect other people – I just think this is something I’m feeling and I’m just gonna get it off my chest, so to feel so connected with people was amazing for me. It was just a really beautiful moment. There’s nothing more amazing than when you hear a song and you feel like that person literally wrote that for me, but it was nice for the shoe to be on the other foot. It’s a really lovely song and I think it’s an important one for the album.