Elle Gilliam has had ‘the feels’ mastered for a long time now. A proven guru of cerebral boo-hoo anthems. She was first mentioned on Necessary Evil when I declared the sublime song Novel by her previous project Helltown as one of the best songs of the first half of 2019 that you might not have heard. Dudes, it’s been more than three and a half years since then, if you still haven’t heard it, then I think you might be past saving, seriously. And the name of that surrounding Helltown album, ‘Picture Perfect Depression’ really describes the music that she absolutely perfected with the project: incisive and often devastating explorations of her own personal demons set to absolutely pristine (initially) acoustic gorgeousness.
Midway through 2022, Elle contacted me personally on twitter.com to inform me that she had retired the Helltown moniker and was now launching a new musical project under the ‘Efficax‘ alias. I made a really funny joke about this when the collection of Efficax singles/demos that I completely made up reached #39 on the best albums of 2022 list. I’m not going to repeat it, you had to be there. Oh, and that album kind of exists now? We’ll get into it. Of course, after I went to try trouble of making that album, she then released her actual debut album, ‘Destroyer‘, in late 2022, because she has no respect for what I do. Don’t worry, I’ve forgiven her now. I’ll never forget what she did to me, but I’ve forgiven her.
Changing musical projects wasn’t the only major adjustment that Elle had gone through recently. No spoilers, but check the pronouns on those Helltown reviews. I was, obviously, desperate to interview her, and said so in my Efficax review (“if you don’t see an interview with Efficax sometime early next year it means she hates me and by extension everyone reading this”). Luckily, Elle is obviously vulnerable to emotional blackmail, so agreed.
Fair warning, this interview goes to places. Remember how Elle is so good at articulating her emotional self through her lyrics and music? Yeah, turns out she’s really good at that in her normal voice as well.wanna tell you all the things i’ve done