Kate Ellis’ Top 5 Influences Playlist

"The way Dylan used words and melody to cast a spell on you and bring you into the world of the song remains the bar that I am always trying to reach as a songwriter."
12 April 2022

By Vanessa B

Kate Ellis is an Americana/Folk Singer Songwriter “Born In Louisiana, Raised In New York, Based In London”. She recently shared the delicately moving original single ‘The Story You’ve Been Told’ with the accompanying video, from her album ‘Spirals’.  The song came from an insight Kate had and an attempt to remind herself of this truth – “that you can let go of thoughts that possess you and memories and feelings that trap you by realising that these stories aren’t true.” Check out the track as well as Kate’s Top 5 Influences Playlist below.

1) Bob Dylan – Talkin’ World War III Blues

The way Dylan used words and melody to cast a spell on you and bring you into the world of the song remains the bar that I am always trying to reach as a songwriter. As a teenager, I fell in love with this song for the way he used humour and charm to comment on the most serious of topics.


2)  Mary Chapin Carpenter – The Last Word

A hypnotic, looping melody, that builds and builds. you never want it to end. When I first started writing, Mary Chapin Carpenter was one of the artists I particularly loved and was inspired by – she is an expert at shining a light on the everyday joy and pain of living. This song hits me in a deep place. I particularly love how the title “The Last Word” is never actually used in the lyrics, but the song completely embodies the emotion and the story behind it:

“You can have it; I don’t want it,
And when you’ve got it, I’ll be gone”

It’s one of those truthful and ultimately empowering songs that make you feel great. I can’t hear it without singing along!


3) Nanci Griffith – Late Night Grand Hotel

Nanci Griffith was one of my first big influences as a songwriter.  She writes gentle, luminous songs that touch you profoundly. This song demonstrates the power of a simple, killer melody that conveys the deep feeling of the song perfectly.


4) Sam Baker – Broken Fingers

This song’s ability to move you to tears within a few lines speaks to how a song can get right inside you and connect with you in the most powerful and personal way.  That to me is the highest compliment you can give to a songwriter and what I am always aspiring to. When I first heard this song, I was bowled over and it spurred me on to continue songwriting at a time when I had taken a break to spend more time being a mother. 



5) Indigo Girls – Southland in the Springtime

The most beautiful, rolling melody that effortlessly encapsulates the story. A perfect song. 

kateellis.com 

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