Ellen Bryant embraces devotion and deep love on 'Letter to My Lover'
Ellen Bryant’s latest single, ‘Letter To My Lover’ is R&B at its best. The track expands the Melbourne-based singer’s small but compelling catalogue of sultry joints best enjoyed at home when it’s late and the lights are low. It’s music made for home cooked dinners for two enjoyed over wine and late-night conversations curled up on the couch.
In Ellen’s own words, the track is an ode to old school romance: writing letters back and forth, pure devotion and patience. Lyrically and conceptually, Ellen references Aaliyah's '4 Page Letter', a song centred on the same premise of picking up a pen and writing a letter to the person we love. 'Letter to My Lover' is a reflection on thoughtful expressions of love in a world where dating apps, hookup culture and the instant gratification of messaging have irreparably altered the way in which we start, sustain and end relationships. Gone are the days of intricate exclamations of love: handwritten letters, or postcards from a faraway city. Phones and social media mean that we’re now more connected than ever, and connection is less meaningful. A message in a blue bubble, no matter now heartfelt, just doesn’t hit the same.
Canadian producer K-Notes pairs sweet electric keys with trap-inspired drums and a subtle live bass groove, balancing 90s and 2000s influences with a distinctly modern sound, reminiscent of Sabrina Claudio. After a keys-focused intro, the track kicks off with the hook: "Let me give it to you straight, I'm a write it on a page/Sending you a four-page letter, you know it's worth the wait". In doing so, she hopes that her lover will feel her presence and affection despite the distance between them: “When I’m not around, you feel my love".
Ellen lays bare the logistical challenges of long-distance relationships; in verse 2, she sings "so far away, my morning's the end of your day, and it's getting late, so much to say". But instead of spending hours on the phone, sacrificing sleep, or succumbing to the difficulty of staying in contact, Ellen embraces the opportunity to reinvent how she and her partner share their life with each other. Technology has undoubtedly made it easier to be separated from our partners, but Ellen doesn't want ease; she wants magic and devotion, effort and dedication. So, she opts to write a “four-page letter” to properly share her affection: “I could write a text, I know, but I want to romance you”. She flirts, "I know you like it like that, let me do it nice for you, send a picture in the mail for you". She offers a tangible memento, a token of her love, transcending the heart emojis and FaceTimes we've come to depend on in the digital age.
Ellen wants more than to 'keep in touch'; she wants to connect and stay connected. She encourages her partner to give her this same care and attention: "take your time, don't you rush my love". Good things take time, and she is patient; anticipation keeps love alive and thriving. In a world where we're all talking to each other all the time, the simple, old school act of writing a letter is a grand gesture of love.
Photos 1 & 2 by @bbds_
Photo 3 by @jessbrohier
Words by Portia Brajkovic