New Song Of The Day: Vera Ellen – Crack The Whip

Vera Ellen is cracking the whip as her third single is released today.

Vera’s Flying Nun debut album is due out later this year. Details are below in the blurb:

Introducing Vera Ellen’s third single ‘Crack the Whip’. Vera wrote most of this song when she came back to New Zealand from LA at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. “I was feeling a bit of whiplash from moving countries. I was reflecting a lot on the motions of life,  the wheel of fortune and coming to accept that our efforts to control anything are charmingly futile.”

Lyrically, it’s a mash up of different points of Vera feeling homesick for New Zealand; when she was missing the nature and culture and people. “I used to work at this pop up called “Wonderworld” on Hollywood Boulevard. No one would ever come in so I would just stand at the counter and look out the window wondering why the hell I came here.”

The accompanying video is made up from home video footage from Wellington Zoo in 1997, and features Vera Ellen, her brother Albert River (who features heavily on the upcoming album, and is also in Vera’s live band), and their Nana. These images are intercut with footage of familiar sights from Vera’s current LA residence; Hollywood and Santa Monica beach.

“My brother and I are very close and we have always had this way of protecting each other. The video kind of turned into a homage to our bond and the deep sadness of being apart.“

Vera Ellen’s upcoming Flying Nun debut, It’s Your Birthday, was written over the space of a few years. It chronicles the highs and lows of Vera’s early twenties, and is integral to the artist’s growing process. Each song hits some kind of unforgettable, yet relatable, touch stone in the artist’s life:

“I feel pulled back to those moments whenever I play the songs. Some of it was written when I was broke living behind a sheet in a lounge in Hollywood, some inspired by the characters both beautiful and dark (mostly both) I met in Los Angeles, some when I felt rejection in the lowest pits of my stomach and also when I felt so much elation I thought it couldn’t be possible to be any higher, some when l was so homesick I wanted to puke, some in the throes of love and other heartbreak. The stuff of life.” 

Vera continues, “If you listen through it tells a story of where I was to where I am. Not that anything is ever truly resolved or figured out. It makes me happy having this body of work to give some meaning to some really dark places I have been in the last few years. Places that otherwise felt like a string of random unconnected feelings and events. If all my diaries burn, at least I will have this album.”

Vera Ellen

Vera had about 12 demos which she sent to her friends Dad, Mark Austin. In January of 2020, Vera and Mark recorded it over a couple of days with the help of some friends at Pyramid Club. Vera went back to America in February and that was sort of meant to be the end of it, but fortunately for the rest of us and due to the global pandemic, Vera ended up coming back to New Zealand and was able to add songs and extra instrumentation to the album throughout the year.

“If you can imagine, you’re twenty years old and you write about some dreadful personal turmoil, and now you’re twenty five and you think, let me just share that with everyone I know and a few strangers while we are at it. If I am honest, I’m a little terrified about having this record out in the world. It feels very exposing. At this point I may as well become a nudist.” 

It’s Your Birthday is Vera Ellen’s gift to the world, but Vera wants to be the kind of uncle that always shows up with a gift on your birthday, so it shan’t be the last. Out via Flying Nun Records on October 8th, 2021.


Always Always
Telegram 2
It’s Your Birthday
Yuppie Farm
Crack The Whip
It’s Good, It’s Simple
I Want 2 B Boy
The Language of Flowers
Stuck w Me
Heart in Reaction
Where The Sun


Spotify | Facebook | Instagram | Bandcamp