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‘The most disarming and profound statement of Hooper's career - Venom/New Magic is a buzzing, creaky tapestry of tunes that veers from punky New Wave
bursts to creepy Bad Seeds-esque lurches'
– Marcus Teague Rolling Stone
Ella Hooper is an Australian music maker who is well known for her debut in rock pop band Killing Heidi at age 13 she’s been writing and releasing her own kind of intense, intelligent pop music ever since. Hooper is also a radio host, TV presenter, respected pop culture vulture, DJ and self-confessed music junkie. Her songs of angst and wonder sound tracked the early 2000's for cool kids and outsiders alike. Melodic and anthemic, Ella’s song writing and crazy colourful image cut a swathe through the mainstream, gaining her a stack of awards (ARIA’s, APRA, ACRA’s) many of which she was the first female and youngest person to receive. Hooper has featured on the cover of Rolling Stone not once but twice as well as every other music publication worth its’ salt and played the main stage of every major festival in Aus and plenty overseas as well. Ella’s time with Killing Heidi cemented her as one of Australia’s most recognised and distinctive frontwomen.
‘Ella’s stage attack is more refined now than it has ever been, charming all near her with her acrobatics, persona and dance movements – a true performer does not begin to describe her power. Similar to how a ballerina can silence a crowd, Ms Hooper can incite their chaos to whatever level suitable. Needless to say, the chemistry between her and her fans is still impossible to fracture’
Ella’s musical output has since traversed pop to rock, roots and country back to alt pop and everything in between. In 2010 Hooper travelled to LA to work with Mitchell Froom and Elvis Costello's backing band on a side project influenced by classic West Coast sounds, 'The Verses'. This collaboration spawned an EP and an album and the band toured extensively, opening for Fleetwood Mac who were one of the main inspirations for Hooper to start The Verses. A self-proclaimed 'Pop Witch' Ella believes the support slot with Fleetwood Mac was a form of instant karma for trying something new and took it as a sign to continue the trend for her next incarnation, deciding to finally claim her Gwen Stefani moment and ‘go solo’ after talking with Stevie Nicks one night backstage in her dressing room.
Hooper’s debut release as a solo artist was 'In Tongues'. Delivering spiky synth pop sounds, the album has a dark sexy overtone and is full of Saturn returning yearning. Stand out tracks Low High and The Red Shoes, being both danceable and doomy, gained her a new audience and gathered steam online. The double EP 'Venom/New Magic' followed soon after and was highly regarded among critics.
'A bold, awesome accomplishment, New Magic is excited, open-hearted and eager. Venom, vocally crushing and instrumentally sparse. Hooper's alternate reality is here...'
- Jake Cleland, Strine Whine
Ella shines as a live act, clearly completely at home onstage. A seasoned pro backed by a crack band of players she bends her diminutive frame into contortionist positions, back bends and twists whilst continuing to punch out notes that fly and defy, or lays herself down over the fold back, delivering a verse half hanging over the edge. It’s a ride, with her talent for connection and genuine reverence for the art of a good rock show on display.
In and out of the studio for much of 2018, Ella is set to release new solo music by the end of the year. Never one to languish in a comfort zone, Hooper’s next offering promises disco beats, street walking strut anthems and pop chops a plenty. It’s been a colourful journey and it ain’t over yet for Australia’s favourite daughter of pop rock. Stay tuned.