NEW YORK — May 14, 2021 — On her first full-length album, Queen of Nothing, Lindsay Ellyn doesn’t mince words: The 10-song collection is full of strong statements meant to lead listeners to admit their humanity, as well as everyone else’s — no one’s perfect, and we’re all trying to make the best of it. She works through deep regrets and missed opportunities, her relationships with herself and those around her, and examines life’s inevitable heartbreaks, on mostly autobiographical tracks that extol the complex pieces of life and reclaim how messy it can be. The album is out today on Hail Mary Records/Queue Records.
Queen of Nothing finds Ellyn refusing to be anything but exactly who she is: She’ll release the album a few weeks before she turns 37, and it’s clear she’s saying exactly what she means. The anthemic title track embraces losing, surrendering to that moment in time and celebrating the accompanying freedom; AudioFemme mentions she “finds magic in low moments.”
The album kicks off with “Dirty Fingers,” encompassing much of what Queen of Nothing is overall: a realistic reminder that everyone has baggage, set to catchy instrumentation that begs for a repeat listen.
“Hard to Forget” was written about a handful of girls who lived in Ellyn’s apartment complex growing up, the kind of carefree rulebreakers who dot the backs of anyone’s mind when daydreaming about the bold, unapologetic qualities we still wonder if we might embody ourselves, even years later in life.
“Somebody Love Those Girls” vulnerably examines getting older and trying to find a place in life outside of societal expectations. Ellyn’s relationship with both of her parents is referenced at several different points in Queen of Nothing, perhaps most pointedly as she existentially ponders the afterlife in “Glory, Glory,” an upbeat number that almost begs for a sing-along — if you don’t pay too much attention to the lyrics.
Though she’s happily married now, Queen of Nothing also examines past romantic relationships and what Ellyn has learned about herself through them. “Helpless” centers around the defeating situations that can still feel difficult to separate from, while “Where You’re Going” wishes a partner well after an anticlimactic breakup in which things simply didn’t work out. “Raising Hell” offers the opposite side of the coin, a revenge song through and through.
“Mercy Drum” dives into how things you’ve done, or seen, or experienced can continue to impact your life long after the event. “Pieces of Things” is narrative storytelling at its best, focusing on vignettes that solidify the idea that life is, in fact, more than the sum of its parts.
Ellyn grew up in New Jersey and began playing piano in elementary at the behest of her mother, later switching to guitar in high school. She took summer classes at the Fashion Institute of Technology, where she later attended college. After she moved to New York, Ellyn worked in various aspects of the fashion industry, first on the editorial side of the business as a journalist and editor, then in-house as a writer for major fashion and media brands. She is currently based in Nashville, where she’s a senior copywriter for a creative agency.
Queen of Nothing makes it clear: it’s okay if the story of a life isn’t always pretty — in fact, maybe it’s a little more interesting if that’s the case.
Queen of Nothing Track Listing:
1. Dirty Fingers
2. Somebody Love Those Girls
3. Hard to Forget
4. Glory, Glory
6. Raising Hell
7. Pieces of Things
8. Mercy Drum
9. Queen of Nothing
10. Where You’re Going