Ethel Captures the Subtle Anxiety of Relationships Drifting By Like "Passing Ships"
Photo: Victor Jacques Sebb
Paris-based singer-songwriter Ethel continues to cast her spell with the release of her latest single, "Passing Ships." Teaming up with long-time collaborator Banshee (The Great) on production, the moody track is a poignant exploration of maintaining relationships amid mental health struggles.
"Passing Ships" opens with a dreamy collection of pulsating drum kicks, grooving instrumentation, and flittering synths that support Ethel's siren-like vocals. The eerie and intoxicating sonic concoction lures the listener in as she coos the lines, "When there's no time to lose /Don't pass me by, don't you," pleading for her lover to be patient as she continues to work on herself. As the track resurfaces after leading us to the depths of Ethel's intrusive thoughts and anxieties, the heart-aching song ends with a voice note reciting, "For what seemed like an eternity my rocky prison was dark as blackest night and my thoughts were filled with terror."
"At the time of writing 'Passing Ships,' I had accumulated a lot of demos and didn’t really know what the upcoming EP was going to look like. 'Passing Ships' was the track that helped tie this project together and tell the right story," Ethel shared with us. "My producer Banshee found a producer on YouTube called Lovén - and listening to his beats, it really felt like he would be an amazing addition to the production process. We decided to fly him over for a week to work with us and we were not disappointed. The production was extremely exciting and fluid. Banshee had an immediate creative spark and created the loop within minutes, which was completed by some background vocals from Lovén. I then laid down almost all of the melodies of the verses and chorus."
She continues, "The lyrics to follow were tainted with a lot of my insecurities at that time. I wanted to express the impossibility of holding secure relationships, as well as my fear of losing everything and everyone that I loved. I hope this song conveys that feeling!”
The new single will feature on her debut EP, The Burden of Fever Dreams, set to release March 15, alongside her previous release, "Pixie Dust." The debut effort is a stunning introduction and an intimate, ethereal piece of alt-pop enchantment. Instrumentally and lyrically, it's a gentle and beautifully lush reminder that we are all the same deep down. Based on these two releases, there is little doubt that this upcoming body of work, which, according to the Parisian, is inspired by the subconscious mind, will take listeners on an enchanting journey from start to finish.
Listen to "Passing Ships" below: