Xoller (Ella Zoller) is a dream pop artist based in Los Angeles via Brooklyn. Xoller’s music is made from a state of wistful nostalgia for things both past and future. Her self-aware songwriting is emotive and clever, living in it’s own world deeply and unapologetic-ally. Her music is shaped by the influences of Elvis, Lana Del Rey, Frank Sinatra, Beach House, and The Magnetic Fields. Moving around a lot as a child, she found comfort in her own inner world, often with her head in a book. Growing up with an acute anxiety disorder that wasn’t diagnosed until later in her life, she used music as a constructive outlet for her emotional stress and anxiety. She harnessed this energy through many different aspects of music and started singing, playing instruments, performing and writing songs at a young age. She dove headfirst into songwriting in 2012 when she founded electronic Dreamwave duo PROM.
Interview Meikee Magnetic
Where were you born and where are you now?
I was born in Wilmington, Delaware but moved around a lot when I was younger. I’ve been living in Los Angeles for almost two years now and loving it.
When did you move to New York and what was your first music project there?
I moved to New York in 2009 and lived there until mid 2017. My first official music project outside of writing music for myself and various school projects was a folk duo with my friend Will called Houseboat. We released an EP called Secret Breakfast, which is when you put whiskey in your cereal instead of milk. I met Gabriel Stanley soon after and we formed PROM in late 2012.
Tell us about your new music video ‘Loom’:
The video for ‘Loom’ tells the story of the memory of a past lover haunting us like a ghost. A young woman sees a shadow flicker behind her in the middle of the night and rises to investigate. My longtime friend and collaborator River Gallo directed the video and assembled an amazing team who were so easy to work with. We were living together at the time when we wrote the treatment over a joint in our living room, talking about how we wanted to visually convey someone who is trapped in a surreal outdoor night world, but wishes to be free in nature in the daylight. My essence in the video is a combination of spooky, magical and cheeky, with a little “I might murder you” sauce on top. “Loom” was directly inspired by the film Call Me By Your Name, and is the cry of first love and first heartbreak. I call upon the same stone fruit metaphors in the video that the film communicates so perfectly.
How would you compare New York to Los Angeles and how are you enjoying the music scene in LA?
New York and LA are like night and day to me. I’m much more suited to the pace, weather, and greenery per square foot ratio in Los Angeles. I love to spend time outdoors, and I’ve been able to explore some of the diverse terrain California has to offer since moving here. I have been loving the music scene so far in LA. Writers and producers are so open and eager to collaborate, and my theory is that it’s a little easier over here for musicians to have decent sized, affordable studio spaces in which to work comfortably with other musicians, in your home or otherwise. I find that I have the mental and physical space to relax into being creative here. I think Los Angeles also has the best live scene right now (sorry NY!) in terms of the skill levels of the bands performing, the amount of stellar shows by local bands happening every week, and the variety of excellent venues where the sound is on point. Shout out to all of the amazing sound engineers in LA; the unsung heroes of the live show!
Describe your sound for us:
Sad Girl Glitter Space Cowgirl. Ethereal, yearning, tragically honest. Introspectively bittersweet.
Right now I’m working hard on my live show, and can’t wait to start performing soon! I’m hoping to be ready by my EP release in mid-June to play a release show. I also have some bonus tracks that I’ll be releasing later in the summer after the EP comes out.
What does Dark Beauty mean to you?
There is something really beautiful in the dark moments we all have. There’s a diamond hidden in every panic attack, and a calm after the cry. My expressions of my own personal dark side through my music is I think what makes it relatable – everyone needs a reminder that they aren’t alone, and that we are able to be loved along with our flaws.