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'Turbulence,' Latest Album By Ella Vos, Is Aptly Named

SARAH MCCAMMON, HOST:

Musician Ella Vos has been through a lot. In the first few years of becoming a new mother, the artist, whose real name is Lauren Salamone, suffered from postpartum depression, was diagnosed with cancer and got divorced. So her new album is aptly named.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "TURBULENCE")

ELLA VOS: (Singing) One day you'll understand there's always turbulence.

MCCAMMON: Turbulence. It's her second album, and Ella Vos joins us now. Welcome to the program.

VOS: Hi.

MCCAMMON: So that is a lot, like we said. How are you doing?

VOS: (Laughter). It sounds like a lot, hearing it in a list like that. I'm doing great. When I got diagnosed with lymphoma, I realized that I didn't really live the way that I wanted to live. It's caused a lot of changes in my life. And I couldn't be better.

MCCAMMON: Yeah, you've said in other interviews that you struggled to set boundaries and take care of yourself. And I think that is something that many, many women - especially those of us who are mothers or some other type of caregiver - can absolutely relate to. On that note, I want to listen to one of the songs from your album. It's called "Burning Bridges."

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "BURNING BRIDGES")

VOS: (Singing) Be patient. Be patient. It's time to call it quits. And so it goes. Everyone's high and mighty. Everyone follows blindly. I'm always burning bridges.

MCCAMMON: What's the story here?

VOS: (Laughter). So "Burning Bridges" is kind of an aspirational song. I would like to be that person who can show myself love by being able to cut toxic people out of my life. And maybe not even toxic people but just people that maybe have grown apart, and it's clearly causing me distress - and being willing to say, you know, like, I need to walk away from this. And I think that's a really hard thing to do.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "BURNING BRIDGES")

VOS: (Singing) Taking all I can take (I'm always burning bridges). Saying all I can say (I'm always burning bridges). Pushing back till it breaks 'cause...

MCCAMMON: I also wanted to ask you a little bit more about your experience with postpartum depression. You've talked about that in the past. And you've said that you didn't really realize what was happening when you...

VOS: Yeah.

MCCAMMON: ...First were experiencing it. Why was it so hard to recognize at first?

VOS: I think it was less about recognizing and being willing to admit it. Like, I took classes on it. And I talked about it with other friends at the time who were having babies. And it's not like it was taboo at all. But I had some idea in my mind that it wouldn't happen to me, and so I was stubborn to admit it. There is some stigma around it that, even though I had different beliefs about mental health, I kind of couldn't get past it.

MCCAMMON: Your son is - what? - about 5 now?

VOS: Yeah, he just turned 5

MCCAMMON: How has your view of motherhood and maybe the way you write about it changed as he's gotten older?

VOS: He's just the most inspiring human to me. And I don't know. My - I guess my view on motherhood has shifted quite a bit as he's grown into his own person.

MCCAMMON: It's so weird...

VOS: ...And...

MCCAMMON: ...Isn't it? - even though you know it's going to happen - when they suddenly do become a person?

VOS: It's insane - yeah (laughter). But, also, I've been writing more songs about just how special he is. And I kind of try to work them a little bit into every song. He also - now that he's 5 - is giving me song titles.

MCCAMMON: Are any of them wildly out of place?

VOS: No.

MCCAMMON: Or are they good?

VOS: They're kind of great.

(SOUNDBITE OF ELLA VOS SONG, "DREAMING BACKWARDS")

MCCAMMON: I want to listen to another song now - it's called "Dreaming Backwards."

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "DREAMING BACKWARDS")

VOS: (Singing) It's like dreaming backwards - like dreaming backwards.

MCCAMMON: That's an interesting idea - dreaming backwards. What is that about?

VOS: "Dreaming Backwards" is this idea of looking back and realizing that you have been doing things backwards in your life. And it's a reference to depression. And I put it as the first song on the album because it's, like, the wakeup call. It's realizing I just want to live more fully - that's my goal. That sets the tone for the album.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "DREAMING BACKWARDS")

VOS: (Singing) Lost a decade riding in a car. Turning yellow (ph) - stare between the bars.

MCCAMMON: I've been speaking with Lauren Salamone, also known as Ella Vos. Her new album is "Turbulence." Thanks so much.

VOS: Thank you.

(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, "DREAMING BACKWARDS")

VOS: (Singing) I know where you're at. I would love to run. This is all I have. Scared of being young... Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Hey, thanks for reading.
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