Los Angeles-based singer, songwriter, and producer Ellise is no stranger to using her hyper dark-pop to explore the rougher edges life has to offer, and her song “Sandman” dives right into it. A sonorous ballad that combines Ellise’s ethereal vocals with a haunting soundscape of concussive beats, the “Sandman” presents a visceral peek into the mind during its darkest moments. For Ellise, that meant exploring that overwhelming sense that life might not ever get better, rooting that sentiment in the song’s allusion to a tale about a man who puts kids to sleep with magic dust.
“Sandman” opens dreamily enough between Ellise’s soothsaying vocals and the medley of soft twinkling that is scattered in the background. But before long the song starts to twist against the battering of bass and Ellise’s own desperate wails; “Sandman, can you put me to sleep?” she pleas. The track is rife with pain, whether in its tormented textures or Ellise’s piercing cries and in giving voice to those feelings she sees a chance to better understand herself in such times of intense despair.
“‘Sandman’ is a reflection of how I felt in my darkest place — like nothing could possibly get better, and the only escape could be going to sleep for good. I think it’s important to make songs about the almost “taboo” feelings we experience in our lives, like wanting to end it all in a weak moment.”
A prolific writer and musician, Ellise began her musical endeavors after graduating high school early in the Bay and moving to Los Angeles to pursue music full time. For Ellise, storybooks and reading were critical in her development as a musician and songwriter, and that inspiration takes form in her recent release Letting The Wolf In. The Halloween-themed album and the third LP Ellise has recorded since the release of her earnest debut CHAOTIC, each song on Letting The Wolf In is inspired by a different Grimm Fairy Tale — as well as the often toxic and chaotic relationships she has suffered through.
Listen to Ellise’s new single “Sandman” below!