INTERVIEW: Ditte Elly | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Image by Idene Roozbayani

Ditte Elly has been modestly resting her sounds in the nooks of the necks of North East music lovers (and others) over the last few years, and it has been fitting rather snugly.

Moving up to Sunderland from Oxford, Elly was welcomed to her new home with the help of good friend Matt Stalker, who not only invited her into his own band, singing and playing keys, but also supported her solo music; finding the right venues for these sensitive songs. This wisdom to carefully choose places that compliment her work – intimate spaces like the The Old Cinema Launderette, resonant rooms such as the Sunderland Minster – Elly can, to this day, make the incredible claim that she has “never had a bad gig”.

Music had been in Elly’s life for a long time, but it was when she attended the Catweazle Club in Oxford in 2011 that she felt the attraction to songwriting and performing. This local hotspot offered a place for musicians to perform one song (two, if the host was impressed) to an enthusiastic crowd. Feeling the buzz in her bones from this interaction, Elly set forth, striding into this awakened passion, returning to play with new songs in tow.

new single You Find It Easy is a sorrowful reflection that highlights Elly’s textured vocal tones, and the sound of her nylon-string guitar playing

Some of these songs culminated in her first EP in 2012, We’ll Meet Again. It was with this endeavour that Elly formed a recording relationship with Newcastle-based, sound engineer Liam Gaughan. Elly explained that completing an album following the debut took time due to balancing studying Fine Art at University alongside its writing. Finally completing the set this year, the songs were rehearsed over two months with fellow musicians, before the group travelled up to a farmhouse in Jedburgh, with Gaughan and his portable studio, to reside in each other’s pockets for a week; living the recording of Elly’s new album. “It was an idyllic setting away from civilisation that allowed you to switch off and concentrate on the music.”

Gaughan’s nature brought the best out of this singer songwriter. “Liam has incredible patience, and a way to make you feel completely comfortable in front of the ominous red recording light. He doesn’t normally work with quiet, folky stuff, he’s in a funk band and he does lots of crazy loud rock stuff, but the point is he has this amazing ability to just get the absolute best of songs. He has a great sense of the essence of music, I think.”

Welcoming these new melodies to the world, ahead of the long play, is new single You Find It Easy, a sorrowful reflection that highlights Elly’s textured vocal tones, and the sound of her nylon-string guitar playing.
You Find It Easy will be released on 4th December and the full album will follow in the springtime. Live performances allow a special glimpse into Elly’s relationship with her songs; it is her concern for them that is so palpable and gripping to watch.

Ditte Elly plays at the Scrumpy Willow Cafe, Newcastle on Wednesday 20th January. You Find It Easy is released on 4th December.

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