My professional name is Kellarissa, Finnish for “In The Basement”. I am a classically-trained singer and synthesizer experimentalist who uses a loop pedal to expound on simple chord structures to create intricate pop songs. I live on the unceded territories of the Musqueam, Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh Nations, also known as Vancouver.
I have honed my skills over the last 20 years playing and touring the world in groups such as p:ano, Fake Tears, How to Dress Well, and Destroyer, and have lent my voice and musical expertise to dozens of recordings. My solo work examines themes of nature and our imminent destruction of it, and the struggle to find balance between isolating oneself and being a productive member of society.
My fourth album, Voice Leading (Mint, 2022) had me has reached deep within my psyche to address themes of female desire, regret, compulsory heterosexuality, the affirmation of my own queerness, fantasy, nostalgia, and fate. I drew much inspiration from Anne Garréta’s 1986 novel Sphinx set in the nightclubs of Paris in the 80s. I recorded the album completely on my own during the COVID-19 pandemic and am thankful for the privileges that allowed me to do so. It wasn’t until I brought these songs to life that I have been able to begin to work on issues of alcohol misuse, self-compassion and self-acceptance.
# of Albums:
Favourite musician growing up:
Favourite musician now:
Guilty pleasure song:
Major Tom (Coming Home) by Peter Schilling
Live show ritual:
Trying not to talk to anyone beforehand (never happens)
Favourite local musician:
EP or LP?
Early bird or night owl?
Early bird, these days
Road or studio?
Any shows or albums coming up?
My new album, Voice Leading, is a culmination of 2 years of anguished thinking, self-improvement and solo recordings. My album release show will be announced shortly.
Where can we follow you?
Rapid Fire Vancouver Qs
Favourite local restaurant:
Tough one, but I’d have to say Penang Bistro (Malaysian) on Fraser. Their veggie Laksa is unbeatable and the staff is great. Runner up is Yours Cafe Shop (Vegan, Vietnamese) on Main Street. They make the best meat substitute I’ve ever had.
Favourite street in your city:
Kingsway. I’ve walked and driven up and down it dozens, maybe hundreds of times in the last few years; it’s where I live and en route to work. It changes constantly and cuts a diagonal path through the city. It’s my desired path.
Favourite park in your city:
Clark Park. I like how it has many different sections and huge trees and sprawls across different terrains. The surrounding neighbourhoods are really unique.
Favourite music venue in your city:
Red Gate – this address on Main Street has served musicians and artists for decades and I hope it continues for decades to come.
Favourite music store in your city:
Red Cat Records