katie ellen (phx) solo
thursday, june 22, 2017
at downbeat lounge + friday, june 23, 2017
at hawaiian brian's
"Often when a band breaks up and its members go on to start new projects, there’s a particularly trite adage that gets thrown around: ‘Like a phoenix from the ashes’. Thankfully, in the case of katie ellen, the new project from former Chumped members Anika Pyle and Dan Frelly, we’re spared such cliche owing to the simple fact that when Chumped called it a day, there was no fire from which ash could form.
'I wanted to find autonomy,' she explains. 'Personally, musically and emotionally. Starting katie ellen was all about challenging myself to be better and stronger both as a musician and a songwriter, but also as a person. I really wanted to lean more heavily on my songwriting and to draw inspiration from artists and genres that I cherish but didn’t necessarily fit in my last project, like Billie Holiday and 60s girl groups and Patsy Cline and Judy Garland.'
'These songs have a different energy to them, more of a melancholy, soulful reflection rather than a sense of chaotic urgency,' Anika states. 'But, I’m no less candid or vocal about my feelings or my politics.' That candidness becomes abundantly clear when she sings on ‘lucy stone’, “I don’t wanna have your children, does that make me less of a woman? / I don’t believe in getting married, it’s a socio-economic prison” – and that, along with the support of Jeff Rosenstock’s donation-based Quote Unquote Records, is a shining example of the fact that, at heart, katie ellen is still very much a punk band." - Ryan DeFreitas, Upset Magazine