Ella Jane’s new album “Marginalia” was the perfect second step in her music career


The cover art for Ella Jane’s sophomore project.

Whilst browsing Spotify’s multitude of pre-designed playlists, I came across a song called “nothing else i could do” by an artist named Ella Jane. To be honest, I only listened to the song because she and I share the same first name, so I decided to give it a listen.

A lot has happened since then. Including the release of Jane’s sophomore project, Marginalia, on Oct. 28. Marginalia encapsulates the listener with its relatable lyrics, wonderfully composed metaphors, and catchy indie pop beats that seem to be Jane’s MO.

The album opens with “7”, a mellow yet emotional track with expressive vocals. “7” is the perfect song to begin the album. The song repeatedly mentions past memories and old feelings, which emits a reminiscent aura.

The third track of Marginalia is “Sore Loser,” which uses a continuous metaphor of a sore loser and other references to athletic terms. On her social media platforms, Jane jokes, “writing a song full of sports metaphors is the most athletic thing i’ve ever done”. Jane has named Lorde, Taylor Swift, Phoebe Bridgers, and other artists as her inspirations. One aspect she admires of Swift’s songwriting is her use of extended metaphors, which Jane clearly experiments with throughout this song. 

Coming out just before the announcement of the album, “Party Trick” truly began the Marginalia era. The track was released on July 14th, with the album being announced on July 19th. “Party Trick” certainly lives up to its name, embodying the essence of an upbeat party anthem while keeping the smooth bedroom pop feel that connects all of Jane’s songs.

Marginalia is the perfect mix of carefree, regretful, and wishful melodies that merge into one sonically cohesive record

The next song, “You Shouldn’t Have Said That,” uses hard-hitting lyrics and powerful vocals that stand out from the other songs. My only complaint with the song is that the chorus is too short. Jane belts, “And you shouldn’t have called me pretty and think I’d forget it / My memory’s sh*tty, but God it’s selective.” It’s not exactly a bad chorus, however, it’s all there is before cutting to background music and eventually the verses. 

Track eight, “I Wanna,” was the last single released before the whole album dropped. “I Wanna” also came with a music video, which radiated teenage dream energy and did a dazzling job of translating the song into visual form. Overall, “I Wanna” is one of my favorites from the album. The repetition in the chorus of “I wanna be in love / I wanna be in love / I wanna be in” exquisitely captures the desire Jane is feeling.

Finally, the album comes to a close with “Crash Cart.” “Crash Cart” is a piano ballad with downcast lyrics and a sorrowful tone. I believe it was a statement to end the album on such a somber note, but it still works with the other tracks and adds the final touch to a well-composed album.

Marginalia is the perfect mix of carefree, regretful, and wishful melodies that merge into one sonically cohesive record, leaving the listener with nine new songs to endlessly enjoy.