Ela Minus has come a long way from her days as a Bogota teenager, living out her punk-rock dreams as the drummer in Colombian hardcore band Ratón Pérez. Indeed, while double majoring in jazz drumming and synthesizer design at the Berklee College of Music, she began her shift away from the harder edges, in order to experiment with softer, more rarefied sounds.
As a solo electronic artist, Ela hasn’t totally abandoned her roots—she continues to embrace the DIY ethos, utilizing only hardware synthesizers to perform, write, and record. The results are gorgeous, as evidence by her latest single for Domino, “they told us it was hard, but they were wrong,” a bouncy synth-pop stunner, showcasing her lush, almost haunted vocal style.
It’s accompanied by a moody, ethereal video that could easily double as an art-installation-cum-fashion-shoot. Draped in gauzy couture-like creations, Ela glides through a misty aluminum forest while the track builds slowly to crescendo, in a kaleidoscope of sight and sound. Moving from dark to light, heavy to exuberant, “they told us it was hard, but they were wrong” feels exactly right, right now—a little bit of beauty and joy in an otherwise murky reality.
And Ela’s musings are perfectly befitting the current mood: “When everything is taken from us / The ability to choose our attitude and create our own path forward is the only certainty we have / We have no control over anything but ourselves.”
Ela Minus’s rescheduled tour dates will take her from Barcelona to Coachella to Dallas between August and October.