The Charli XCX-approved, Canada-via-Swansea artist has just dropped her debut EP ‘u and me, but mostly me’

As reported by NME

ELIO

ELIO’s new EP, ‘u and me, but mostly me’, features a song called ‘My Friends Online’, a sugary sweet pop tune that feels eerily prescient. “I’m socially exhausted / But haven’t looked up from my phone,” she sings over sleek electronics and 8-bit bleeps, later adding: “I just want my friends online to be around me when I die”. It’s the ultimate quarantune — the only thing is that it was written last year, well before anybody had even heard of Covid-19.

“I’m a psychic, I think,” ELIO, aka Charlotte Grace Victoria, laughs to NME over a Zoom call before explaining that ‘My Friends Online’ is actually about “travelling and being on your phone. Not about being stuck in your house and the only way to do things is through your computer.”

The lockdown anthem is one of the glossy millennial songs on ‘u and me, but mostly me’, which came out last week. A glittering collection of bedroom-pop tunes, the EP is the epitome of future-facing pop: sometimes it sounds like if Lorde and SOPHIE collaborated, others as if ‘Sweetener’-era Ariana Grande borrowed some of the expansive, genre-splicing production from The 1975’s raviest moments — but always sounding fresh and exciting.

The EP had been in the works for a long while, with the first songs being written two-and-a-half years ago. Influenced by the likes of The 1975, Charli XCX and Taylor Swift, as well as indie heroes like Sufjan Stevens, ELIO’s perfectionist nature meant that it took a while to get ‘u and me, but mostly me’ to the release stage. She even pushed its release back several months to ensure that “the songs were as good as they were going to get”.

While this is ELIO’s first release under her current moniker, it is by no means her first foray into music. Growing up in Swansea, her family relocated to Canada when she was seven after her older brother died at 19 from a drug overdose. After the move, she first started to get into writing music as her grandfather — a music teacher — began teaching her piano whenever he came to visit, and she started scribbling lyric ideas down. Was music cathartic for her during this difficult time?

As reported by NME

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