Secretly Canadian has been a tastemaking label for years now. So, when they sign a new artist, you should probably pay attention. On that front, one of the latest additions to their roster is gglum, who Secretly welcomed aboard in late 2023.

gglum, a pseudonym for London-born songwriter Ella Smoker, didn’t waste any time making herself comfortable and dropped her debut album, The Garden Dream, a few days ago. It’s a vulnerable project that sees a now-content Smoker looking back at her sometimes-less-than-stellar early days, through the lenses of styles like serene indie-folk, lo-fi rock, and more.

To celebrate the milestone release, Uproxx caught up gglum to discuss a potpourri of topics, everything from Britney Spears to pressing flowers to the importance of good posture. Check it all out in the latest Indie Mixtape Q&A, below.

What are four words you would use to describe your music?

Blue. Nylon Strings. Glum.

It’s 2050 and the world hasn’t ended and people are still listening to your music. How would you like it to be remembered?

I would want be a niche lost artist that a cult following of teenagers from 2050 discover and can bond over. They’ll say things like “I was born in the wrong era” and wear baggy jeans and Air Forces and bum bags.

Who’s the person who has most inspired your work, and why?

Phil Elverum. He was the person that made me realize I could write music in whatever way I wanted to.

Where did you eat the best meal of your life and what was it?

At Sketch in Oxford Circus. The restaurant with those egg toilets? I went for a signing celebration meal with my managers and it was the fanciest place I’d ever been. And the food was insane, I left thinking everything I could ever eat after that experience would taste like cardboard.

Tell us about the best concert you’ve ever attended.

My friends are in a band called Something In The Lake and they played a gig when we were in college at The Bread And Roses in Clapham, when they were called Helve. My favourite gigs are always when I get to watch my friends play, the energy in the room is always so much more exciting when it’s someone you know and you’re proud of.

What song never fails to make you emotional?

“All I Need” by Radiohead. It’s quite an obvious choice, but it’s well known for a reason. Listening to it feels like Thom Yorke has broken into your home and is personally ripping your heart from your chest.

What’s the last thing you Googled?

How to press flowers. When I was a kid in Finland I’d always have a look inside the books in a family members house to find pressed flowers between the pages. I’ve been needing a hobby so I thought I’d give it a go.

Where’s the weirdest place you’ve ever crashed while on tour?

I’ve never crashed anywhere particularly weird but I did have a nap in the back room of a pub in Bristol on tour once about 30 minutes before the show started.

What’s your favorite city in the world to perform and what’s the city you hope to perform in for the first time?

The best place I’ve performed so far is Cologne. The crowds there are so energetic and get really involved which I feel is rare. I’d really like to perform in New York. I’ve had a bunch of friends go on tour in America and they said that the crowds in New York are really fun to play to.

What’s one piece of advice you’d go back in time to give to your 18-year-old self?

Sort out your posture. It only gets worse and now it gives you headaches. Strengthen up them back muscles, it’ll make you look taller.

What’s one of your hidden talents?

I make really good buffalo wings in the oven and they come out crispy and everything.

If you had a million dollars to donate to charity, what cause would you support and why?

My first thought is a local food bank. So many people need them and I feel like not enough people support them. They’re so important.

You are throwing a music festival. Give us the dream lineup of five artists that will perform with you and the location it would be held.

Alex G, Radiohead, Paramore, King Krule, Thundercat. Somewhere pretty, like in the middle of some mountains in Greece haha.

What’s the story behind your first or favorite tattoo?

I have a tattoo on my arm that says Sunday. On the day I got it I wanted to be really reckless or ruin my life or something and decided a better idea would be to get a tattoo to fill the impulsive void. I didn’t have any ideas for what I particularly wanted so I just got the word Sunday because I like Sundays. It’s funny because a few months later someone I know got really drunk and got an almost identical “Sunday” tattoo so now I’ve got an accidental matching tattoo with them.

What is your pre-show ritual?

Panicking, jumping around and getting my band to stop me from running away. I get really nervous before gigs so I haven’t quite managed a proper pre-show routine, its mostly just me trying to chill out.

Who was your first celebrity crush?

Britney Spears. Although I’m not sure if I wanted to be with her or be her.

You have a month off and the resources to take a dream vacation. Where are you going and who is coming with you?

I would take my flatmates with me to a villa with a pool or something in maybe Greece or Spain or Italy. Actually Italy would be great! I love history so it would be super cool to see the Coliseum or Pompeii or something like that.

What is your biggest fear?

My fun formative years catching up with me health-wise. I used to think it would be worth it but now I’m thinking maybe not…..

The Garden Dream is out now via Secretly Canadian. Find more information here.

Some artists covered here are Warner Music artists. Uproxx is an independent subsidiary of Warner Music Group.

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