Photo by Liz Rosa
Elyse Saunders is a Canadian Country artist hailing from Peterborough, ON. Her new EP, ‘Free’ , uses a modern country production canvas to integrate a seamless and dynamic blend of propulsive power pop elements, R&B influences, traditional classic country licks, and heartfelt storytelling across six songs. ‘Free’ was released on all digital platforms October 21st,and hit #2 on the iTunes Country Music Album Charts in Canada and #11 across all genres on release day. Today, LiL is excited to be teaming up with Elyse to give you a behind the scenes look at the inspiration behind her latest release. Check it out below:
It’s feels good to finally “Free” the EP, literally and figuratively!
My brand new EP, “Free”, holds 6 songs and while showing slightly different elements to me as a singer/songwriter, they carry a thread of confidence, celebration and empowering messages.
This project has been several years in the making, starting from crafting the songs, honing the messages and sound that I wanted to bring to this EP, finding the right team and getting funding to help make it all possible. It’s been a journey that led me to a place I couldn’t have expected and it feels like me and this EP have been through a lot together. As an independent there’s a lot of moving pieces to manage and when I was in the middle of the recording process for this, the pandemic hit and then like many other artists, I had to completely alter all of my momentum and path to fit with a new environment. But with that said, in a strange way, it feels like this EP found its place at the moment it was supposed to with messages that have really connected. I’m proud of where it came from, proud of where it stands, incredibly grateful for reaching huge new milestone I never imagined and thankful for the experience of seeing how much of a difference music can make in a difficult time.
1.“Free” – (Writers: Elyse Saunders/Shawn Moore)
I wanted to write this song as a summer anthem and a tribute to my youth. There’s a time in all of our lives where we’ve felt a little more free of responsibilities and a time when we were experiencing so many exciting things for the first time, living in the moment. I’ve realized as I’ve grown up and I’ve grown in my career, that life gets so busy and I need to remind myself to enjoy the moment. It shares a reminder to me and others that we can connect to that feeling again by doing what makes us feel free. The first song we recorded and released from the EP and the one that had us all wanting to feel freedom again after a long lockdown!
2. “Sunshine State of Mind” – (Writers: Elyse Saunders/Tj Simpson)
A song about finding paradise no matter where you are. As long as you have a positive mindset and you’re with the right person, every day will feel like paradise. This one started with an idea and a story and found its way to the hook. I hope that it takes you to that dreamy place in your mind!
3.“Wine Down” – (Writers: Daryl Scott/Joey Green/Elyse Saunders)
It started with the title on a songwriters road trip! Daryl Scott had mentioned this title idea to me and I instantly fell in love with it. A lot of the time before I go into a writing session I feel the song. I have a good sense of how the lyric and sound is going to feel and when we wrote the song with Joey Green it instantly felt like it lined up. knew it was a special one as soon as we wrote it and I held off until I could do it right with this EP. It’s for any wine lovers who want to just shut off the world with no one else but their love.
4.“Famous” – (Writers: Elyse Saunders/Elysse Yulo/Kyle Renton)
The sassiest song on the EP is “Famous” and like the opening line says, “life gave me lemons so I’m sippin’ on lemonade,” it’s about making the most out of a tough situation as well as having confidence in that, even if it rubs some people the wrong way. “Everyday’s a walk of fame when everybody knows your name, who needs an A-list” shares a carefree attitude with a sarcastic and slightly goofy approach and I felt that was important when sharing this idea. The idea of the song can relate to many life situations and for me, it’s about not needing others approval in my career!
5.“Genes” – (Writers: Dan Swinimer/Elyse Saunders/Jordan Honsinger)
The most inclusive song on the EP is this one! It’s about celebrating our own individuality and cultures in this world. We were born the way we are and the color of our skin and the clothes that we wear might give us our own unique identity, but in the end, we’re all just people! It’s about having a drink and getting to know each other without any biases. I hope that when you turn this one on that you feel good about who you are.
6.“California” (Bonus Track) – (Writers: Andrew Gerard, Jon Bryant, Elyse Saunders, Dave Bayley)
Inspired by a via rail Canada tour from Toronto, Ontario to Vancouver, BC., “California” is the bonus track on the EP and feels perfect for a road trip. My guitar player Dave & I had an incredible time meeting and playing music for so many people on the train and it will always be something I cherish. We met up with songwriters Andrew and Jon during our trip and went over a bunch of ideas and we landed on this idea after explaining our experience on the train. We all agreed that we wanted to write something that would capture that feeling of travelling to that one destination that keeps pulling you in.
Thanks so much for taking the time to read a little bit more about “Free” the EP. I hope it takes you on a bit of a listening journey and I hope you’ll join me on my socials so we can keep in touch and I can share more music with you in the future. Big thanks to Live In Limbo for this!!