Pardon me for repeating myself but Ellen Krauss is matchless when she sings in an Americana style (she can do others).
Her new single, ‘Hungover (Head in a Can)’ is about missing something or someone. It might be home, family, or a loved one, or it could also be a place rather than a person.
The back story is that she wrote the song when she came back from her first ever support tour and was experiencing a lot of separation anxiety. She says, “All I wanted to do was be back on the bus with a beer in my hand, playing cards, telling the same jokes over and over again, feeling dead tired but happy, and understood. Touring is lovely in that way. Everyone has their own special thing but we’re all there for the same reason. It’s the best thing ever.”
So it turns out that what she’s missing here is both a place (the tour bus) and the people on it? Home doesn’t seem quite so welcoming in comparison.
Ironically she wrote a song called ‘On the bus’, which was on a different subject altogether, and the only dud that’s she’s written that I know of. But that was then and this is now.
What you always get from Ellen Krauss, apart from a silky, laconic style, is honesty.
Even though it’s hardly unfashionable these days to come out – except if you’re a football or rugby player where some arcane degree of rite of passage is still required by the media – it takes guts to release an entire LGBTQ-referenced anthem (‘The One I Love’) when you are still in your teens. It marks you out at a tender age and it has had an adverse effect on at least one British female artist that I can think of.
She’s also free and easy with her language. In this song she wants to be “hung over, head in a can, with you”. I don’t know what the latter part means, I guess it suggests permanently attached to a beer can, like an umbilical cord. Then, in the same vein, she desires to be “f***ed up, head over heels”, which is indicative of an on-tour romance. Beer and sex, eh, that tour bus life has it all.
Then, “do you wanna get high with me?” So we might be into narcotics as well, as Fiona Apple’s tour bus was as she passed through the Texas town with the best record in the US for successful drug searches of passing pop star tour busses.
Or is that taking her too literally!?
I’m not convinced the repeated swearing is really necessary but Ellen Krauss sings with conviction and if she feels she has to do that for her art, who am I to argue?
It does mean though that she wouldn’t be singing that version of the song at the Country Music Association Awards next November, which is where I do believe her underlying talent can take her one day, hopefully on that tour bus with as many six packs as the entourage can handle.
Ellan has played over 80 live shows since she first emerged, supporting various artists, as well as her first Swedish headline tour in the autumn of 2021. She is also planning a return to the stage with another run of headline shows in 2023.
Find her on: