Photo: Kelia Anne
Ella Vos' lyrical honesty and soothing vocals are enough to hurt you to your core, but her new EP Watch & Wait will leave you with innumerable emotional fractures. Diagnosed with lymphoma after the release of her last album, Words I Never Said, Vos takes us along for the arduous journey she endured post-diagnosis and through treatment, towards the silver lining. In an Instagram post, she wrote,
"This EP is like a gasp for air, like coming to the surface after nearly drowning. I wrote it while in treatment for cancer; about the pain, the loneliness, and losing and finding myself again."
The EP takes a life of its own and gives life to the storm Vos has weathered. Wistful and raw, Vos wears her heart on her sleeve as she sings of her hardships. But it is her multifaceted vocals and the dreamy instrumentation that promises hope and showcases her growth not only as an artist but as an individual. In particular, two EP standout tracks paint her story vividly for us.
"Temporary" is a heart wrenching yet groovy depiction of her experience with treatment. She spoke of it in an Instagram post,
"'It's only temporary' is what everyone would say to console me about my cancer diagnosis. It's what I wanted to hear and it's what I'd tell myself, where I believed it or not. I used to think of it as a meaningless phrase because no one really knows how long anything is going to last, be it happiness or sadness, good health or bad. In those moments, my entire life felt like it was on hold, bound by the unknown. Nothing about it felt 'temporary.' But over time, I started to see things differently, and saw that what I was going through was just temporary - I just had to look at things under a different light."
"Lonely Road" uncovers the loneliness and overwhelming emotions that she must have gone through. While it's a song related to her personal experiences, it's one that we can all relate and sing along to. In one way or another, we've all felt lonely and been on a "Lonely Road" before. Stripped down to only an acoustic guitar and her soothing voice, she sings,
"It's 2 AM, still toss and turnin'/ I guess some things never change/ Fell apart in California/ Try and meet me in the middle some day / 'Cause I can't make it alone without you"
Named after a form of treatment for lymphoma, Watch & Wait will leave you feeling sore, singing along and swaying to the beat. Catch her on her North American tour set to kick off in March.
+ Revisit one of our earliest "All Eyes On" performances with Ella Vos below: