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Elly Kace on “Are You Ready?” and Musical Inspirations

EK

With a dreamy ambience and comforting lyrics detailing having to deal with a hard time, “Are You Ready?” by Elly Kace feels like an existential crisis wrapped in a hug. The production of this song goes so perfectly with the subject matter. The pulsing bell throughout the song reminds me of a heartbeat, and drawn-out synths make it feel like the song is breathing. Coupled with Kace singing the words “inhale” and “exhale,” you get the sense that this song is mimicking a state of trying to calm down. Deep breathing and hyper awareness of your heartbeat is something most of us have probably experienced when dealing with stress or panic. 

“Are you failing?

Me too”

Kace asks the listener if they are failing, and then plays it off by saying “me too.” It’s a reassuring way of saying that it’s ok to feel like you’re falling apart–it happens to everyone. A lot of times, when someone is struggling, they just need to know that they are not alone. Identifying with them and listening to them is an easy method of support, and Kace captures the simplicity of caring enough to do that in these lines.

“The only way out is through”

Within the next few lines, Kace offers advice. The only way to get out of a bad situation is to get through it. It may be better to try to manage and endure a situation than waste time trying to escape. Time is an inescapable force, one that you will move through whether you want to or not. This line is a reminder that all things end, including the things that you may be struggling with.

What inspired you to write this song?

“Are You Ready?” is about that first recognition that something is off before a catharsis comes. It’s meeting toxic positivity with curiosity and confrontation. The whole LP that follows this track dives pretty deep into intense concept, so I wanted to ease into that experience from this vulnerable and honest place. In my experience, the only way to find peace is to feel challenging feelings all the way. To get comfortable with the uncomfortable.

Who was your favorite musician growing up?

I have so many! I was a huge fan of Sarah McLachlan growing up–something about the femininity and honesty of her artistry always appealed to me. I also really loved Ace of Base–like, danced to them in the living room daily on my tape player type of love.

I noticed you have some pictures of you doing yoga on your Instagram. How important are yoga and mindfulness to your creative process?

To me, all those things–yoga, mindfulness and the creative process–are the same thing. I meditate before I begin working on music, and work to maintain that meditation as I create–whether its writing, recording or practicing–and I check in again after. It’s very challenging, but I work at it every day with the help of my yoga and meditation mentors. Being awake to the present moment, to impulses, to intuition, to divine creativity is everything. I strive to stay there and listen in everything I do. I stink at it, a lot, but practice makes progress.

What is your favorite lyric from “Are You Ready?”

“The only way out is through,” because it’s just true, and I have to remind myself of it everyday when I want to escape the hard things.

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