With her name taken from the cultural phenomenon that arguably started the Timothée Chalamet industrial complex — as well as a strong co-sign from internet pop princess Charli XCX — the
Welsh singer-songwriter who goes by the moniker ELIO is nothing if not tuned in.
The young pop tinkerer has been feverishly releasing music since the start of quarantine, first with the extremely relevant tune "My Friends Online." Each subsequent release doubled down on the woes of growing up in this technological era through the sparkling lens of hyperactive pop. "Don't wanna talk through satellite/ Don't wanna love the phone line," goes one line on her glossy second single, "Body Language."
In less than a year, ELIO has released two EPs, her most recent being
which came out on Friday — another collection of songs about bridging a gap through the wires. The boppy, and glitchy single "CHARGER" is about her relationship with her phone charger, and her penchant for leaving it places it shouldn't be: "And I wanna come back 'cause I left my, left my, left my charger," she sings on its hook. It's a love song born from the internet generation — and for ELIO herself, from growing up listening to copious amounts of Taylor Swift and The 1975. Can You Hear Me Now?
Below, ELIO, now based in Canada, offers her takes on the best song ever written, her dream music festival, and the memes that rule her extremely online life.
1. What’s your astrological sign?
I am a Virgo. But my birthday is on the 8, so it's on the cusp, like at the beginning.
Some are really accurate. I know I'm with my family all the time, my mom is absolutely a Gemini. But I don't know. I don't put all my faith in it, but I do like to do it and I do often. If I meet somebody, I'll go, "Oh, you're a pieces? Ooh..." I try not to [read my horoscope] especially if it's like a daily or a weekly one, [because] I feel like all my decisions are just going to be so skewed because I'm going to have this horoscope in my mind. I don't know enough about it to actually put all my faith into it.
3. Do you believe in ghosts (and have you ever seen one)?
I definitely believe in an energy. My dog unfortunately died in June and it was so weird because we would hear noises that only he would make, like tapping on the door or her collar and stuff like that. And all of a sudden, two weeks later, we felt like it was gone. There was an energy that just left, never to be seen again. So I definitely believe in that. Ghosts, not so much. The idea of a person walking around who I can sink my arm through is a little absurd to me.
4. What’s your go-to drink order?
I'm super basic when it comes to drinking. I will drink most things except for gin. But I feel like my go-to is a cider or something that I can actually enjoy drinking, that isn't too beer-y. I'm 23, I don't need to actually pretend that I like doing shots of tequila. I do not.
5. What’s your go-to hangover cure?
Definitely an iced coffee. I'm in Canada so me and my friends will go to a place called Tim Hortons and we'll get what's called an Iced Capp, which is basically like a Frappuccino with coffee. And hashbrowns. Forever.
6. Who would be the three headliners of the music festival of your dreams?
My female trinity: Taylor Swift, SZA, and Kacey Musgraves. I've only seen Taylor live, but I would die to see SZA and Kacey.
7. What's the weirdest snack that you make?
I'm very basic when it comes to food, but I will do this — it sounds disgusting, but trust me when you're starving and cannot be bothered to make anything... I'll do crackers and chipotle mayo. You almost treat the chipotle mayo like it's a dip, which it sounds horrific, but it's so good.
8. What's a bad habit of yours that you've been meaning to fix?
This kind of goes with the snack, but spending so much money on takeout because I work too late and then I get too tired to actually cook something. I go for the takeout or the crackers and chipotle [mayo].
9. What was the last internet rabbit hole you went down?
We're planning to shoot a music video and every time we do that, I just go down music video central and I end up at the most obscure music videos. I get so excited to film the music video that we're planning that all of this inspiration is so overwhelming. I'll literally watch hundreds and hundreds of music videos.
10. If you could be in any music video, what would it be?
"You and Me Together Song" by The 1975. It's super 2000s and they go from like... It's a film set and you know it's a film set, but they go from room to room to room. It's kind of like a whole party. It's just really cute, the vibes are great. [I'd be] just an extra. Just a person for who's in it for .5 seconds.
11. Describe your worst date in three words.
I don't think I've actually had one that's bad enough, but that's only because I hate the idea of dates to begin with. I probably have only been on three dates ever. First one: french fries. Second one... all my takeaways from these dates are the food, why? For the second one I was going to say mozzarella sticks. Honestly, third one let's just go with pizza.
12. What was the last DM you received?
Last one I got was from my friends in a band called Petty Failure. They asked me to send the lyrics for something... It's not mine, but I just leaked something that I'm doing for them, so I hope they enjoy that.
13. What was your first concert, and what are your memories of it?
I was born in the U.K., and there's a band that I was obsessed with when I was like seven or eight called McFly. It was in my hometown in Wales, and they put on these concerts. I think it was every summer or something like that. I went with my best friend and her mom, and I thought the guitarist waved at me. He absolutely just waved to the crowd in general, but I was so convinced.
14. What was your favorite movie as a kid?
It's between two, it's either
Sound of Music or Grease. And they're both still my favorite movies because every time I watch them, I watch them with my grandma and we sing all the songs and we dance. It's really cute and fun. 15. What's your favorite meme/internet joke and why?
Do you remember the
Gossip Girl one? That one, but the most extreme versions of it. There was the one where Serena goes, "What sound do you make to address a cat?" And then it's like the pspsps... [ Laughs.] I'm pretty online. If there's an internet joke I know about it, but I'm not like deep, deep into the internet. But I'm definitely on it enough that I have my wits. 16. What's your go-to breakup song?
"All Too Well" by Taylor Swift. It's honestly one of the best songs ever written. That bridge and the scarf, oh!
17. What is one thing everyone should buy that is under $10?
A face mask. A resuable one. I'm sick of seeing the one-use ones, just everywhere on the floor. My favorite one is just a cottony white plain one. I'm such a stan of the mask. Even if COVID goes away tomorrow, it covers up pimples, and you just look kinda cool — especially if it's a black mask, I feel like I'm some sort of secret agent.
18. What is your go-to sad song?
This, I'm well aware, is [one of] my festival artists, but "Rainbow" by Kacey Musgraves. It's not actually innately sad, it's actually very uplifting, but I feel like if I'm sad, I want a sad song that also doesn't make me go down a sad hole. It's just a hug, you know? It's a hug in a song.
19. What reality show would you most like to appear on? RuPaul['s Drag Race], but obviously only as a judge. I haven't seen the new season, so this is kind of a fake fan answer, but RuPaul, 100 percent. KimChee forever and always. I feel like she's been the most innovative queen out of all of them. Everything from personality to clothing design to makeup, she just kills.