Note: Content in this interview touches on mental health – if you or someone you know needs help, please seek support through these services: Australian support services can be found here, United States support services can be found through NIMH here and U.K. support services can be found through NHS here.
Hospital EP Launch | January 7, 2021 | The Corner Hotel
Eilish Gilligan is an artist I have been a fan of ever since coming across her single ‘Creature of Habit‘ in 2017. Since then, Eilish had gone on to be featured four other times on Eat This Music. And with the release of Eilish’s debut EP, I had to jump on the chance to have a chat with her about the release.
“A bit of a shell at the moment, but I feel like I’m slowly getting back to myself,” Eilish Gilligan tells Eat This Music at the top of our chat about her debut EP ‘Hospital’.
Whilst Eilish is doing OK at the moment, parts of this year were really rough. Being from Victoria, she was put into lockdown along with others living in Melbourne, which was very difficult, however, she was lucky enough to be able to get a bunch of music finished and now feels quite proud of the way she has handled things. And now, Eilish is looking very much forward to not seeing the same four walls every single day.
“I think one of the most dominant themes on Hospital would be mental illness – how it manifests, how it ricochets, and how it damages so unexpectedly,” Eilish reveals to Eat This Music on the story of her debut six-track EP. “You can duck all you like but it’ll still catch up with you, one way or the other.” Relationships – romantic, platonic, familial – have also always been incredibly inspiring themes for Eilish, and there is a lot of relationship analysis on this EP as well.
Eilish’s EP has represented what she wanted to say as an artists throughout its entire process. Eilish started out knowing she wanted to create a ‘piano-based’ EP, or at least use the piano as a spring board for inspiration on all the tracks. “I think it turned out to be a little more electronics-heavy than I expected, but the end result is so cool and fragile and beautiful and I’m so proud of it,” Eilish explains.
“It was slightly bizarre, as is any project being undertaken in 2020, but otherwise relatively uneventful,” Eilish continues on the creative process. “I decided I wanted to do this EP, and due to the lockdowns, I was able to just…sit down at my desk and finish it.” This isn’t an EP *about* lockdown, but if this year hadn’t been the way that it has been, Eilish didn’t think this EP would sound like it does – in fact, it might not even exist.
All of the songs on the EP are inspired by Eilish’s real life. “My songwriting features a lot of me trying to analyse why I made a particular decision, or ‘interrogating’ friends and family and lovers in a way that feels safe for me,” Eilish says. “I write in a journal often and it is a huge influence on lyrics – I will probably share journal excerpts and scrapped lyrics as people become more familiar with the songs.”
“All of them! But I’ll give you a reason and/or place to listen to each.” — Eilish Gilligan on which songs to listen to on her EP.
Expanding on the above, Eilish tells Eat This Music that “When You Are Well” is a song for dancing alone, “Calling Me Out” for smoking a cigarette at golden hour, “October, December” for reading old diary entries, “Anniversary” for lying awake at 3am, “Flesh” for writing letters, and “Hospital” for the doctors’ waiting room.
And now that ‘Hospital’ is out, Eilish is already working working on another EP! “Not sure if I’m allowed to say that yet but I am and I am very excited about it [smiles],” Eilish concludes in our chat.