Elke Drops Debut Album ‘No Pain For Us Here’
Oct 11, 2021
Elke– the moniker of Nashville-based musician Kayla Graninger– released her debut album No Pain For Us Here on September 24, 2021 via Congrats Records. While still honoring her rock roots, this album marks a vibrant art-pop rebirth for the singer-songwriter. With the help of producer/multi-instrumentalist Zac Farro (Paramore, HALFNOISE), the album accentuates the lighter, more feminine aspects of Elke’s voice and style.
No Pain For Us Here is a collection of personal memories and realizations that Elke holds close, she says:
This record was me smashing a bunch of strange epiphanies and true moments into a sculpture I’d want to sit on my mantel for a long time.
On previous releases – 2018 debut EP Bad Metaphors (produced by Shawn Everett: The War on Drugs, Local Natives, The Killers) and last year’s follow-up EP Visitors – Graninger aimed to break down barriers of gender roles, utilizing the low end of her vocal register, inspired by songwriters like Nick Cave and Leonard Cohen. “Very male-dominated, very male-inspired,” Graninger explains further “I thought, ‘Why do females have to be [stereotypically] female?’”
Farro is instrumental in the expanded sound of No Pain For Us Here, playing drums (along with occasional bass, guitar, and synth) and frequently encouraging stylistic shifts. “[Zac] told me to sing a little higher and explore my range, and I got a little mad at him,” Graninger recalls with a laugh. “We got into arguments. It started out easygoing, and hearing myself [change stylistically] made it harder for me to sing in the studio. I’d have to leave and go sit in the car. I’d get overwhelmed. We butted heads because I really thought that was my thing.”
After breaking free of her comfort zone, No Pain For Us Here found its shape on songs like the disco-inflected “Mothers,” the dreamy indie-pop swirl of “Traveler,” the jazzy, string-bathed “Endless Love” and the album’s heartbeat “Vacuum.”
Elke’s No Pain For Us Here is available to stream now via Spotify, Apple Music, and more.
- Photography Zac Farro