Vienna’s ELIS NOA open up about their achingly intimate and unapologetically vulnerable sophomore LP ‘I Was Just About to Leave,’ a raw R&B/electro-soul exploration of letting go and the emotional turmoil that comes with it.
Stream: “Weights” – ELIS NOA
There is beauty to be found in life’s rawest moments: A kind of light that only shines in the darkness.
Bittersweet though that beauty may be, it is beauty nonetheless – because in experiencing it, we are reminded of how sweet and wonderful it is to be alive. We never want to know the enduring sting of grief or the cavern caused by love’s loss, but either we have or we will: Time is cruel in that it only goes in one direction, and the more time we spend on this Earth, the more we come to experience the fullness of that spectrum.
Achingly intimate and unapologetically vulnerable, ELIS NOA’s sophomore album dives deep into the painful process of letting go: A raw exploration of emotional turmoil, connection, and disconnect, I Was Just About to Leave channels life’s darkness and light through captivating R&B and electro-soul, bringing us a little bit closer to ourselves.
We should take a stroll this weekend
Wouldn’t have to hold our weakness
Joyfully unfold our needs then, and I swear
That we don’t need to give our best time
I don’t care
Just wanna lay on your chest side when I’m there
Our minds could take a rest that night
We take a rest that night
Still I don’t really know what I should do
‘Cause all you do is playing with me
So I don’t really know
What I should do with you
‘Cause all you do is saying maybes
But I’ve been having this faith in you
I got carried away with you
I could carry some weight with you
If you want me to stay
Where do you want me to stay?
Do you want me to stay?
Released May 27 via LasVegas Records, I Was Just About to Leave is a heavy, heartfelt, and cathartic listen. The follow-up to 2020’s debut album What Do You Desire? sees Elisa Godino and Aaron Hader dwelling in their depths, employing their chilling electronic and acoustic instruments and ethereal vocals toward a truly stunning concept album.
“We wanted to describe the process of letting go and the journey that comes with that,” the Vienna, Austria-based duo explain. “Each song of the album musically explores every step of that process, from moments of resistance all the way to acceptance. Letting go of a person, a job, a friendship, an idea or a fantasy, doesn’t happen in a singular moment. It usually takes time, there is a lot of back and forth that happens before you decide to move and maybe open up for something new. “I Was Just About To Leave“ is a sentence many of us use to calm ourselves, even though we know it’s still a long road ahead.”
Letting go is never easy, and over the course of eleven tracks ranging from atmospheric pop to electro-R&B and future soul, ELIS NOA capture just how turbulent this deeply personal, invariably universal experience can be.
“This LP is a story of letting go and describes the process from the beginning all the way to the actual decision,” ELIS NOA tell Atwood Magazine, explaining that their vision going into the record was to be honest. “[The title I Was Just About To Leave] is what we like to tell ourselves when we know we have to let go, but aren’t ready to do so yet. The album is exactly that process; it is the struggle of the back and forth before the ultimate decision.”
“I think it very well mirrors the state we were in when we made the album,” Elisa Godino adds. “It was a very intense process and it pushed us artistically and personally on more than one occasion.”
From the visceral churn of album opener “Sorry” and the inescapably heavy standout “Weights,” to the heartfelt tenderness of “Make me think of you” and “Focus,” to the darkly enchanting hypnosis of “Mad about You,” I Was Just About to Leave aches in all the best ways.
While Godino and Hader’s favorite songs are always changing, they cite the lyrics of “Mad About You” as a personal highlight. “There is a significant lyrical twist rather at the end that marks the development of the album,” Godino says with a smile.
I am mad about you
I’m mad I’m even sad about you
all this magnitude of madness for you
that made me start to reach for you
I am mad about you
mad of what I said about you
now mad about my attitude
that made me start to reach for you
I keep forgetting that
you would remind me that we’re average
was it just the timing then
when I felt we were so Divine?
but then it felt like finding me
guess I was hiding me
guess I was blinding me
but now I finally see that
this is not about you, this is about trusting me
it’s not at all about you it must be about me
it’s all it’s all about me all about me
it’s not at all about you
– “Mad About You,” ELIS NOA
There is beauty to be found in life’s rawest moments, and ELIS NOA have irrefutably found it.
Balancing sorrow and hope, I Was Just About to Leave is extraordinarily intimate and gently atmospheric even as the Austrian pair plunder the depths of their hearts and strip down to the barest parts of their souls. Poignant and moving, it’s the soundtrack for a journey to which we can all relate.
“I hope people can connect to it, maybe somebody can relate with their own story,” Elisa Godino shares. “What I learned from it is that all my emotions are my responsibility and whatever hurt I might encounter, I have a choice in how I react to the experience.”
“I learned how far I can go and that it’s more important to focus on what you are creating in the very moment than always trying to figure out what it will be in the end,” Aaron Hader adds. “It’s about having trust that it will all come together.”
There is no denying the intensity, nor the intimacy, of this album. Experience the full record via our below stream, and peek inside ELIS NOA’s I Was Just About to Leave with Atwood Magazine as the duo goes track-by-track through the music and lyrics of their stirring sophomore LP!
Stream: ‘I Was Just About to Leave’ – ELIS NOA
:: Inside I Was Just About to Leave ::
“Each song of the album describes the process of letting go, wandering through the journey with every song.”
“Sorry” is the intro of ”I Was Just About To Leave”. It introduces the audience to the journey of the album. It‘s about being blunt and straight forward with how you feel, at the same time an unapologetic reveal about how the story unfolded.
“Weights” comes in the beginning. It’s about indecisiveness and doubts. You want the other to be close to you but you constantly feel drained because of their avoidant behavior and how they make you feel by pushing you away. “Weights” shows feelings of hopefulness but also the inner fight that even though you’d be willing to give your all, it’ll never be reciprocated.”
“Make Me Think Of You”
“Make Me Think Of You” is about the thoughts of concern that haunt you at night: thoughts about the wellbeing of the other but also the realization that care and empathy can only go as far as the other is willing to receive.
“Animal” is one of the few songs that express disappointment and anger. There are feelings of regret and a strong sense of being misunderstood while being too open and vulnerable.
“Focus” is about allowing ourselves to be open to every facet of our being even when they are hard to look at at times. There are a huge number of vocal layers to underline the message of the song and we really love how the song doesn’t need much more than that.
“Mad About You”
“Mad About You” is mostly disappointment masked as anger. It’s a crucial song to the album and a turning point within the story. The song is about understanding that how hurt we feel is about ourselves and has very little to do with the other.
This interlude expresses the duality of feelings when it comes to letting go. “She” symbolizes the part in ourselves that loves to get drowned in ecstasy and transgression.
“I Cant Make You”
Is about understanding the place from an outer perspective for the first time. There is still hurt, but it is a calmer and more grown reflection on the situation.
“I Don’t Like It Here”
“I Don’t Like It Here” is a moment rather at the end.
It is about finally understanding the place you are in, realizing being stuck and deciding to move from something that doesn’t grow you anymore. The message of the song comes with the thought that in order to let go of a space of discontent and unhappiness you need to value yourself enough to move forward.
“Get Out Of The Water”
Elisa: I used the analogy of the bathtub years ago, when a dear friend of mine didn’t manage to get out of a toxic relationship, always trying to justify the situation: “its not that bad” “it will get better now”… Sometimes it’s important to stop adding little bits of warm water to a cooling bathtub and decide to get up and leave.
This song really is the conclusion of the journey. It’s about the moment at which you realize that it’s ok how things unfolded and you find peace in the way things are.
— — — —
📸 © Dominik Friess
:: Stream ELIS NOA ::