Track x Track: ENOLA - All Is Forgiven
Naarm/Melbourne-based post-punk solo artist talks us through their scintillating new EP, track by track
Image credit: Ian Laidlaw
Ruby Marshall has had a huge year making striking post-punk sounds as ENOLA. After we first met them last year with their single Strange Comfort, ENOLA has gone on to release a string of awesome singles that have seen support from the likes of BBC Radio 1 & BBC Radio 6 (a rare crossover), Double J and community radio around the country, as well as the likes of NME and of course us, Pilerats.
They’ve also shared stages with the likes of Sleaford Mods, Jen Cloher, RVG and many more, as well as playing Dark Mofo, RISING and Brunswick Music Festival to name but a few of the prestigious lineups they’ve graced.
Now their new EP All Is Forgiven has been unleashed on the world, offering an insight into ENOLA’s storytelling approach to songwriting that covers both intensely personal and collective, relatable struggles including our failing social systems, climate change and universal political upheaval. Across six tracks, ENOLA channels influences ranging from Patti Smith to Joy Division to IDLES in a unique package, pairing their background in electronic music with a band-oriented approach to the creative process.
That’s not to say All Is Forgiven conveys a pessimistic message - in fact, quite the opposite. ENOLA explains “I wanna be someone that remains open, no matter what happens. I wanna keep showing up in love for the rest of my life. There’s nothing wrong with getting your heart broken! Go get your heart broken, it’s important. It’ll change you. So I commend all the people that keep rocking up for love.”
To celebrate the release of All Is Forgiven, ENOLA was kind enough to walk us through it track by track - have a listen and get to know:
This song feels very visceral for me, it transports me back to a specific time and place. When I sing the lyrics I feel the shadows of the towers I grew up in in Eora, I feel the drugs pumping through my teenage body, the madness, the sweat, the morning heat beating down, the fragile nature of our body. And parallel to this I feel the capability and capacity to survive & endure. This song originally started as a sample and synth-based instrumental, over time I made the samples you hear in the background, and I brought it to my band and we added live drums and guitar, so while it still has an electronic feel it also has a heaviness, a fuzzed-out sound.
Looking Back started off as more of a conversation with myself, notes I was leaving in my phone to find at a later time that were a deep wish for myself and others. Where Strange Comfort takes me to the past, Looking Back feels very present and current for me. The intention and meaning in this song is direct and at the forefront of the lyrics, there is no hidden meaning. Forgive yourself, forgive others, and let go.
This track took on many sonic transformations, it’s about remaining open and showing up for love, no matter how much you have been hurt before. I wrote it in the early stages of falling in love with someone, which for me is all about the capacity to be vulnerable and to keep loving and being open to love, no matter what. It’s okay to be hurt and get your heart broken. I wanted to balance that message with a bit of bite in the delivery of the vocals.
Miss You is very close to my heart, it is tender and shows a softer side of myself, both in content of the lyrics and in the performances and delivery. I took influences from Radiohead, Lana Del Rey, a bit of trip hop kind of Massive Attack influences too. I worked with Bonnie Knight on this one, they did a really amazing job of capturing the feeling in the song. I really wanted to show a different side of myself.
Metal Body & Waves
In my mind Metal Body and Waves are joined, two sides of a story. Metal Body is a personal lived experience of a situation and Waves is more of a social reflection of broader issues as a big picture. You know, when you look at the news, from the political climate to environmental issues to mental health issues, just like everywhere I look it's that feeling of tensions rising. There's no compassion, there's no softness a lot of the time for people in these situations. It's just like a melting pot and like a boiling over in so many ways.
Metal Body is definitely the more grungy of the two, I really love Nirvana and Hole and Smashing Pumpkins and Garbage and all of that. It's also got that shoegaze kind of sound from My Bloody Valentine and bands like that. I wanted it to be kind of like a wall of noise when it kicks in. It's definitely one of my funnest ones to play live.
- ENOLA, November 2023
Sat 11 Nov - Luliepalooza - Naarm/Melbourne
Thur 30 Nov - AusMusic T-Shirt Day @ Hotel Esplanade - Naarm/Melbourne
Sat 13 Jan - Major Tom's - Taungurung/Kyneton
Thur 18 Jan - House of Music & Booze - Eora/Sydney
Fri 19 Jan - TBH Fridays - Dharawal/Woolongong
Fri 2 Feb - The Gaso - Naarm/Melbourne
Sat 17 Feb - The Eastern - Wadawurrung/Ballarat
15-18 May 2024 - The Great Escape - Brighton, UK