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“Ellen Starski is an intelligent songwriter who goes deep into her song lyrics to find truth and understanding.” — INNOCENT WORDS MAGAZINE
During the years leading up to her solo debut, The Days When Peonies Prayed for the Ants, songwriter Ellen Starski explored both her homeland and herself, traveling from the coal country of rural Pennsylvania to the roots-music hotbed of Nashville, Tennessee.
Released in May 2018, The Days When Peonies Prayed for the Ants acts as the soundtrack to that period of self-discovery. It’s an autobiographical album, rooted in a lush mix of indie-folk, orchestral Americana, and organic pop. It’s a record that’s as dynamic and driven as its creator. Sonically influenced by Leonard Cohen, Bob Dylan’s Desire, and the Alison Krauss/Robert Plant collaboration Raising Sand, The Days When Peonies Prayed for the Ants offers up a combination of sweeping string arrangements, stripped-down piano ballads, finger-plucked folksongs, and everything in between, all held together by a voice that’s both emotional and elastic.
The album is a team effort, with a number of music-industry heavyweights (including drummer Paul Griffith, bassist Jimmy Sullivan, pianist Carl Byron, strings Deanie Richardson, manager Erin Anderson, and producer/guitarist/mentor McCue) all pulling their weight. Starski is the captain of this ship, though, and Peonies points her toward a genre of her own making.