Daniel Ellsworth and the Great Lakes
By Gabby Cabacab
Daniel Ellsworth & The Great Lakes describe themselves as “the sound life makes when it
becomes ecstasy” and they took the words right out of our mouth.
This Nashville band consisting of
Daniel Ellsworth (lead vox, keys), Joel Wren (drums), Timon Lance (guitar), and Marshall Skinner (bass)
have come together to bring us a beautiful blend of vocals, synth, and beats with messages about
growing and thriving through difficult times, the power of women, and the life and death in the world
we live in.
With their new album dropping in Fall 2018, DE & TGL had the album released in three parts.
Chapter One in Winter 2018, Chapter Two officially out today, concluding with the full length album,
Fashion. We were very lucky to learn about the band, their music, and inspiration behind the new
How did you all meet?
We all met in the Nashville music scene and through mutual friends.
What inspired you to make music together?
We all come from similar backgrounds in that we all studied music in college. We're all huge music nerds. We love the process of creating thoughtful pop arrangements together. It's what makes us tick.
This is your 3rd album. How have you realized you’ve grown since 2011’s release of Civilized Man?
I think it's kind of just happened naturally. As a band, the more shows you play and the more songs you write the better you become and the more you grow as artists and musicians. I think we're a lot more intentional about the music we create now than when we first started.
Why did you decide to release Fashion in three chapters and what was the recording process like compared to your earlier albums?
We recorded the album in chunks over the course of a year, and so the three parts are a reflection of that recording process. We also wanted to experiment and release something in a way that we never have before.
Does each chapter have a specific theme? Are they connected in a way to tell a certain story?
The connection is that they are a reflection of how we made the record. The songs on Chapter One are the first few we recorded for the album, then Chapter Two has songs from the next sessions, and so on. There aren't any themes that necessarily tie them together, though each "chapter" does seem to have it's own vibe.
How has the release of Chapter One been?
It's been so great! It's always a good feeling to release new music into the world.
I love the music video you just released for Wonder Woman. What was the inspiration behind the music video and what you wanted to portray through the dancers?
Thank you! That means a lot. It's a song that I initially wrote about my wife and, on a broader level, about the strength of all women. My wife actually came up with the concept and produced the video. This quote from her sums up what she was hoping to portray:
"I met with my talented friend and director Joe Gomez to plan the making of "Wonder Woman". I came to him with two ideas that I wanted to merge together. I knew I wanted to build some sort of physical box where women could come in and out of to represent this inner struggle women face when they're not feeling empowered or are unable to speak their truth. The second idea was the use of light. This past year has been dark for many of us with politics, the world, etc. However, I've seen so much light rise up out of the community of women around me. Women are organizing, they're doing the hard work that needs to be done and our voices are strong and loud. I'm literally living amongst wonder women in my every day life. Because of that, I've had this mental image in my mind over the past year of a woman in a dark room with light coming out of her palms. With that in mind, Joe was able to take this abstract thought and knew what kind of gear and lighting we needed to bring into the set design as well as crafting the story together."
Since Nashville has so many up and coming artists, how did such a rich community of musicians help you grow and develop as a band?
There are so many amazing bands and artists in Nashville right now, it's insane. The musicianship and quality of songwriting here is mind-blowing. The beauty of the Nashville independent music community is that everyone supports each other and builds each other up. We constantly look to our friends to inspire us and help us grow.
If you weren't making music, what do you think you'd be doing right now?
Probably watching all the Jurassic Park movies over and over, while occasionally throwing in Twister and The Sandlot.
Do you guys have anything excited lined up besides the release of Chapter Two?
We've got some killer music videos coming out along with Chapter Two, a few shows coming up, and then looking ahead to the release of the full album!
Find DE & TGL: