News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

Megan Ellsworth releases new album

Megan Ellsworth, Americana Project alumnus, who is now based in Denver, Colorado, released her first full-length album last Friday titled ELLSWORTH.

As stated in the press release on the album, “The folk singer-songwriter’s impressive album consists of dreamlike vocals, bright melodies, and ruminative lyrics masterfully captured through skilled mixing and musical composition.”

Ellsworth graduated from Sisters High School in 2016, and pursued her music degree at the University of Colorado Denver, graduating in 2020 with a double major in songwriting and music business. Graduating into the entertainment world during a pandemic has caused Ellsworth, as well as her band, Sister Neapolitan, to adapt to the new way of life.

“All of the things we had planned to include — some tours — were all canceled due to COVID. But it did give me the time to double down on making the album and give it the time and space it needed,” said Ellsworth.

Ellsworth has been doing a number of Zoom live performances, Facebook live and Instagram live performances with Sister Neapolitan, as well as solo shows, in anticipation of the release of her album.

Ellsworth is grateful to still be able to play music, even if it’s online.

“I play about one or two scheduled shows a month online,” she said.

She also cohosts a podcast titled “The Songwriter Diaries,” which is going into its sixth season, with Ellsworth being the final guest of Season 5.

“We’ve actually been able to widen the guest opportunity we can get on the show because they’re all on Zoom,” Ellsworth said.

They’ve interviewed Sway Wild and Anna Tivel and Jeffery Martin, all Sisters Folk Festival performers, in the past few episodes.

Ellsworth recently changed her stage name from Megan Rose to ELLSWORTH for this upcoming record and for the future of her solo career apart from her band Sister Neapolitan.

“I changed it because there are so many Megan Rose’s and a lot of them are musicians. I wanted to differentiate myself from them,” she said. “Ellsworth just felt so right and has opened up a lot more creative avenues as well,” she said.

In addition to her vocals and instrumental work, ELLSWORTH features Colin Sheehan on electric guitar, Jeremy Doniger on bass, and Matt Hoffman on drums. Hoffman helped produce the record.

“Matt and I recorded the album in his basement, just totally geeking out,” Ellsworth said. “His basement had a sign that said Hoffman’s melody shop, so the record says it was recorded there.”

This is Ellsworth’s first full-length album. It consists of 11 tracks of songs written in college and one from high school during her time in the Sisters Folk Festival Americana Project.

“I wanted to kind of make a portfolio of all the music I did in four years of school. Matt was a huge help and inspiration as one of my professors for a class, as well to help me produce the record,” she said.

One of her classes, a songwriting class where they wrote a song a week, “felt like Americana class every day,” she said.

Ellsworth recorded most of the album pre-COVID, finished it up safely midway through quarantine, and released it at the end of January.

Ellsworth is most excited to have people hear it.

“My most favorite thing about doing this album is being able to share it. I love listening to it with people and them nerding out and getting excited,” she said.

Ellsworth is looking forward to seeing how the passion that went into her album translates for other people and hearing how it affects people. “I want to create a space for people to listen and interpret it as they want,” she said. “I want people to be able to have a retreat from everyday life and have something to escape into.”

ELLSWORTH is now available on all streaming services. If one is interested in getting a physical copy of the CD, they can email Megan Ellsworth at [email protected] and she will reach out about sending a CD. Ellsworth plans to do a scheduled livestream for the album in the near future.

“I also want to say a big thank you to Sisters and the Americana Project for helping me grow,” she said.


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