fhae is a Meanjin-based experimental DIY solo project created by Ellena Ramsay, in which they combine ambient acoustic guitar and gut wrenching vocals. The project was first established in early 2021 and their first EP Fruits and Vegies quickly followed that same year. Ellena uses creative bedroom production paired with abstract household and DIY recording equipment.
Layered vocals and melancholic harmonies are employed to devastating effect as they venture through various concepts and delivery methods, as with their “gibberish album” — ehu ofepr which doesn’t adhere to any language guidelines.
The new single love you delves into the depths of pernicious love with ethereal, haunting vocals swirling inside a languorous and slowly shifting ambient instrumental.
“I have always really liked creative, low budget music set ups and trying to create an organic orchestral sound was very difficult,” says Ramsay. “I ended up using an old guitar-to-computer dongle and I was inspired by Jónsi’s use of a bow on his electric guitar. I haven’t quite mastered the violin but I love the depth you can create on stringed instruments.”
The artwork was created by Ellena using lino ink and etchwork.
“I first started making music in 2018,” says Ellena. “I was in an art class where we created a multimedia graphic video and had to create a soundscape. I was completely obsessed with Grouper, Godspeed You! Black Emperor and Aphex Twin and convinced myself I could learn garageband as a hobby. I would record on my phone and put the apple earphones microphone into my guitar and lather it in chorus and reverb. After that I didn’t really change up my recording set up, but I am currently using garageband with an irig, electric guitar and a microphone with a sock on it.“
Ellena hates capital letters. love you was recorded at home using an “irig” to record electric guitar (played with a violin bow) and vocals with an adapter, Ellena recorded the instrumental first and then sung freeform over the top.
fhae contributed a cover of The Middle East’s My Grandma Was Pearl Hall’ to House Keys, a recently released compilation of local cover songs.
Initially called Fae, the project was changed to fhae in step with Ellena joining 4000 records.
Ellena is the sister of local artist Amber Ramsay, who plays in/as Cloud Tangle, Noir et Blanc and Devotions.
For fans of: Grouper, Cocteau Twins, Angel Olsen, Julianna Barwick, Mount Eerie.
love you will be out tomorrow on 4000 records. fhae’s second album is due for release in early 2023.