Hayley Ellison debuts with sensitive, serene EP I'll Wait Til I Learn - WXPN
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Philadelphia-via-Tampa singer-songwriter, actor, and model Hayley Ellison makes introspective, intimate songs about living in your 20s amid the confusion of 2020, and just released an EP of reflective acoustic-guitar-and-ukelele songs called I’ll Wait Til I Learn.

Recorded with Matty Klauser (of Secret Nudist Friends / Blushed / Goodhowareyou Records) and mastered by songwriter and production wizard Elaine Rasnake, the five-song set strikes a contemplative tone reminiscent of Regina Spektor and Ingrid Michelson, as well as echoes (intentional or otherwise) of Philly neighbors Ellen Siberian Tiger and Birdie Busch.

Musically, Ellison lands somewhere between the worlds of folk and jazz, with a reserved alto vocal that whispers as much as it wails. Lyrically, we hear the musings of a person making sense of their place in the world, often times through impressionistic aphorisms — “I would never leave you alone if I didn’t have to / I would never question my mistakes if I wasn’t asked to” paints a ponderous picture on the opening “I See You” — as well as clever turns of phrase with more substantive detail.

The common thread across I’ll Wait Til I Learn‘s four originals — it closes on a beautiful cover of John Denver’s “Leaving On A Jet Plane” — is a message of hope and self-acceptance, of a narrator coming to terms with their past as they move into the future and encouraging others to do the same. We particularly hear this in the heartwarming closing lyrics of “I Am Enough”:

Didn’t think I’d live past the age sixteen.
I’m not sure why I felt that way, but a girl can only dream.
Now that I am here today, I would like nothing less,
Although life is like a series of standardized tests.
I’m not here to pass a test, just to pass the time.
So thanks for being here with me, I’m yours and you are mine.

Listen to I’ll Wait Til I Learn below.

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