Gglum – The Garden Dream

Gglum by Hermione Sylvester

gglum, the moniker of rising London-born songwriter Ella Smoker, has released her remarkable debut album and first for Secretly Canadian, The Garden Dream today.

The Garden Dream

“It feels so good to finally have my debut album out in the world,” shares Smoker, “I made it over a year ago now so it’s been a long time coming and I’ve been so desperate for people to hear it. I’m super proud of all the music I’ve released till now, but The Garden Dream is the first body of work I’ve made that feels like the perfect music embodiment of what gglum is so far. It’s almost like the gglum mission statement, I managed to make exactly what I wanted and it feels so good. I love that I’ve got tracks that sound deliberately wrong and imperfect like ‘Eating Rust’ alongside more pop adjacent tracks like ‘Second Best’ and yet they both feel right at home on The Garden Dream.”

The 13-track collection feels like a deep moment of realization for Smoker, opening up space for Smoker to reach out to her past self and confront the ill ease that still lingers there. Though she wouldn’t call it a concept album per se, she describes the narrative as a kind of fever dream, toeing the line between potent memory and repressed imagination.

“At the time of writing it, I was having so many nightmares, just straight-up graphic and disturbing stuff. I think it was my subconscious telling me I had shit I needed to deal with, a lot of the mistrust I’ve had since I was a teenager. It was weirdly good timing, because I’m at a point in my life now where I’m actually pretty happy, and am in a good place to look back.”

In learning how to open up to herself, gglum ended up finding a kindred spirit in producer Karma Kid (Maisie Peters, Shygirl, Connie Constance), pushing past her natural bedroom-pop introversion to find joy in the process of collaboration.


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