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Live Review: Ella Thompson deals in moments on 'Snow', her first solo single in 3 years

7 September 2018 | 10:32 am | Kyle Fensom

Ella Thompson brings all her songwriting prowess to her first solo single in 3 years with a gorgeous, patiently building muse on longing and temporality

Known as something of a mainstay in the Melbourne scene for her work with THE BAMBOOS, GL and DORSAL FINS, ELLA THOMPSON looks ready to step out on her own with her latest offering, ‘Snow’, the first single lifted off her upcoming EP, Hysteria, her first body of solo work since 2015.

On ‘Snow’, Thompson brings all the songwriting smarts and prowess of her impressive resume to the fore, with a gorgeous, patiently building track that muses on longing, beauty and the ephemerality of commitment. Starting from hushed electronic percussion and staggered vocal harmonies, Thompson builds a dreamy soundscape swirling beneath her soaring vocals. Slowly, as the harmonies swell and the percussion develops in subtle , lush strings and notes of startlingly raw piano seep into the mix, opening up to a gorgeous climax before disintegrating in a cloud of musical smoke: “You’re like snow / Rain lifts you away / Stay until you evaporate”.

Of the track, Thompson explains that: “‘Snow’ is about the feeling of temporality. I wrote it as part of a broader work performed at the Melbourne Recital Centre last year (called Like Running Water), where through the theme of water, I am looking at fluidity, and shifting ideas of strength and power. I’m interested in the idea of metamorphosis… what changes. The women and the rocks in the visual of ‘Snow’, co-existing with soft and hard surfaces. Collaborating with PRUE STENT and HONEY LONG on this video was pure joy, their use of body art to reconfigure the gaze is a thrill. The song started with a loop of (collaborator) JONTI’S voice, which was then developed with strings, piano and many other bits and pieces”.

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It feels almost inappropriate to talk about ‘Snow’ as a track because it’s more of a moment really, a pristine moment of realisation where you find a surreal beauty in accepting the ephemerality of life and learning to let go.

Hysteria is due out in October.

IMAGE: Anna Snowsill