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The Way Ella Galvin Goes

Amid the backdrop of a plush Tompkins Square Park bustling with mid-morning commuters and park-bench natives, Ella Galvin stands ready for her close-up. No matter the prop, Citi Bike, metal barricade, or graffitied wall, Galvin’s city-centric vibe meshes perfectly with the totems of the NYC streets. Between the frenzy of flashes and camera shutters, Galvin and I chat about her then-upcoming but now-released EP, The Way It Goes. A glittery ode to heartbreak, this tour de force marks the singer’s professional debut, introducing her as a formidable pop-princess in training. 

As we dash to the first photo-op, the Boston-raised singer tells me about the start of her musical career. Galvin wrote songs in high school before joining two rock bands in college. It was this taste of the stage, along with her musical foundation of pop, rock, and funk, that she eventually began fine-tuning her distinct pop-soul sound. Though she is “always experimenting,” at her core lies the raw prowess of a soul songstress.

But what about the funk and soul sound that captivated the singer? “I’m incredibly drawn to how passionate it is, in voice and sound,” Sprinting across the street to catch the light, Galvin cites Earth, Wind & Fire, Stevie Wonder, Amy Winehouse, Sabrina Carpenter, and Remi Wolf as some of her inspirations. 

After a brief stint in Chicago and an even briefer foray into the study of Nordic skiing, she “realized that singing, unlike skiing, is something I could and will do for the rest of my life.” Galvin continues, “I was primarily working with people from the East Coast, so [the city] seemed like a reasonable place to move.” After kissing the Windy City goodbye, Galvin landed in NYC, the epicenter of art, music, and queer culture. 

Much like Galvin’s arrival in NYC, the creation of her album was something that just fell into place. The timeline of The Way It Goes begins in 2023 with the release of “Pink Shoes.” “I wasn’t even considering a full project at the time!” Galvin exclaimed, “I just kept releasing music, and eventually I was like “Oh, we’re getting somewhere.” then we started working on a full EP.” This slow build helped Galvin figure out exactly where to take the sound of her first project. With all the kinks worked out, production kicked into high gear earlier this year. 

Galvin’s official EP rollout began in March with “Spare Me,” a soulful, scintillating lament on heartache and desire. The song was infamously spawned during a burst of inspiration late one night. Galvin recollects, “I had a story already planned in my head, from the imagery to the message; it all came so quickly. All that was left was the actual music, but after I started with that, it basically came out on its own.” she continues, “I knew everything I needed to say.” 

Galvin’s trust in her stream of consciousness applies to more than just her music. 

She has been a practicing Buddhist for the better part of three years. “It changed my life. I believe in myself more,” she says, beaming. From themes of finding peace within yourself amongst emotional turmoil to taking life as it comes, it’s not hard to hear the Buddhist influence pouring from the EP. Galvin credits “Pink Shoes” as her most spiritually-tuned track to date, “it’s all about going with the flow and trusting yourself.” “It’s funny,” she adds, “both my guitarist and producers are Buddhist,” like one big happy, musical monastery. 

“Buddhism makes me think about what I’m writing.” Galvin continues, “It’s encouraging to think about who and why I am writing. Sure, I write for my audience, the people who want to hear what I have to say, but, ultimately, I write for myself.” When asked what she hopes her audience takes away from the EP, Galvin simply said, “Growth.”

In July, Galvin met her most recent musical collaborator, Lady Di Mega Diva, who features on the EP’s gospel/R&B closing track, “Passing the Time.” The two singers met after sharing the bill for Galvin’s first headlining gig; “after the show, I realized we have a lot in common.” Not only are their personal styles complimentary, but their identity as queer indie artists facilitated a personal and professional bond. “It’s important to have someone in it with you, someone to learn from. Share trials and tribulations, goals, achievements, and production tips” Galvin dishes.

Somewhere between a sticker-covered stoop and shuttered bars, we make our way to Tompkins Square Bagels for an early afternoon pick-me-up. As we wrapped up our interview while unwrapping bagels, I couldn't part without having the fashion talk. “I try to work with as many small, sustainable, queer, and minority-owned brands as possible.” Her eclectic and textured style is nothing short of her music personified: colorful in both tune and style.” [My] fashion and music do not influence one another; they complement each other. They are me.” 

Apart from her summer soundtrack consisting of Chappel Roan, Stacey Kane, Sabrina Carpenter, and Lady Di Mega Diva (duh!), what else does summer have in store for Ella Galvin? “You’re just going to have to stay tuned.” 

The Way It Goes is now available for streaming on all major platforms.

Written By Daniella Fishman

Photography by Mark Bluemle

Special Thanks to Ava Tunnicliffe with Tallulah PR and Heather de Armas with HDA Management

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