Brooklyn singer Elly Kace will release her concept album Nothing I see means anything November 19, 2021. The LP finds Kace, an acclaimed and award-winning opera singer, breaking free from the disciplines she’s spent her life studying for something boundary-pushing and danceable. It’s a pop album for the seekers that finds catharsis in the journey and acceptance in not having all the answers.
During her first European audition tour as an operatic soprano, Kace had to flee Italy at the start of the pandemic to go back to her New York City home. “I was feeling excited about the prospect of a European career, and then to experience such a world-changing, death-filled thing instead was really difficult,” says Kace. “But it was a painful lesson that there is never any control, ever.” Back in her Brooklyn apartment, the paradigm-shifting upheaval, though difficult, gave Kace the time to recenter herself. Kace began obsessing over her daily Sanskrit meditations as well as two phrases from the influential book A Course in Miracles: “Nothing I see means anything” and “Bless them all.” These phrases would serve as her North Star for writing the entire album.
With her operatic career on hold, Kace knew she needed an outlet. “I was definitely depressed and sort of intuitively started writing and expressing that as a healing thing for myself,” says Kace. Initially, Nothing I see means anything started out of vocal loops with Kace dissecting each syllable in those two phrases. “Mantra is a powerful healing practice because the sounds resonate in our bodies,” says Kace. “Music also literally gets in your cells, so I took care that the vocal meditations drove the rest of the writing like a secret medicine. They became a tool for me to literally vibrate each self-accepting sentiment into the physical bodies of whoever listens.”
As a lyricist, Kace dissects her physical place in an often unfeeling world, singing of addiction, loss, illness, the male gaze and subverting expectations. Though this is wholly accessible and physically immediate pop music and each single stands on its own, this album is meant as a healing whole. The first half is a frustrated Sisyphean grind of inescapable grooves and epic operatic descants until the fresh guitar in “Anything” breaks through. After the mid-album meditation, the record shifts towards angelic vocals, Tibetan bowls, and beautifully haunting sound design.
Kace says, “It’s become clearer to me through making this that all we are meant to do is bless each other. But the simple things are also the hard things. I’ve learned I can’t bless in a genuine way until I’m willing to face my shadows and find a way to accept them and, if I can, love them.”