ills Winter


About this artist...

Decade(s) active:


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‘Ills Winter’ is folktronica or ‘electronica witchrock’ performed by Elizabeth de la Rey, who previously recorded with husband Emile as the duo Porcelaintoy. Beginning in 2013 with the single ‘Howling toms’ the EP ‘Icings Lust’ came out in 2014, followed by the singles ‘Unravel’ in 2014, & ‘Not Ours to see’ in 2015.

The first full length album ‘Duchess of Whispers’ was released in March 2016, mixed by her husband & collaborator Emile & mastered by Mike Gibson at Munki Studios. Elizabeth describes ‘Duchess of Whispers’ as follows:

This album tells of an artist’s journey, a story that starts when she fades to anesthesia. At first alone, she encounters revolutionaries, faces her demons, meets her kindred, finds revelation within the depths of the cat’s soulful stare, proclaims her strength, writes an urgent dance-letter, has sweeping visions, rides a camel with Oberon, feels somehow changed but can’t quite place her finger on it and possibly needs a hug and a cuddle after all that adventuring.

Cover image










Bravery & Bravura – NZ Musician Magazine, Vol. 19, No.3, Oct/Nov. 2015, Pg. 37

Ills Winter







Who’s Next: Ills Winter
Rip It Up 359, March 2014.

How did you first get in to music?
Apparently I used to make up tunes and sing along to the car engine whenever we went anywhere. I gradually moved on to instruments, song-writing and singing. I was also lucky enough to marry a man who helped me realise the artistic freedom of electronic music.

Was there anything that made you decide to start doing music seriously, or did it just sort of occur naturally.
Music has always been a part of the way I think and a place of comfort for me, but I really started focusing on it when I was a teenager. It’s still kind of weird having to think of it as a business, but it’s never been just a hobby.

How do you describe your sound?
It’s kind of sexy folktronica mixed with a bit of unplugged grunge.

Where does your inspiration for this sexy folktronica come from?
From some old memories and quite a feminine longing to say, “Fuck it here I am; soft, strong and flawed.”

What about on an emotional level?
My music is edgy, dreamy and a little sad sometimes. I sing from this yearning place in my soul… I don’t know why I’ve always been so emotional. I often sing about other people and I love connecting with people; it’s fascinating and inspiring.

Tell me about the writing/recording process for your recently released EP Icings Lust?
The piano track ‘There are no words’ was recorded when I’d just got home from the hospital. I was all drugged up and couldn’t sing or talk because I’d had surgery on my neck and was told I might never sing again (thyroid cancer). I shut my eyes and forgot about my worries for a while. The other songs I sat down with a pen and paper before recording them properly

How has being sick affected your music?
I haven’t been able to perform for a year and I couldn’t talk or sing for a few months – that was pretty frustrating. But I just feel more determined than ever now.

And how did you get involved with Wellington’s The Performance Arcade?
I was invited to play at The Performance Arcade last year with Porcelaintoy and this year as Ills Winter. I have this fucking awesome live setup so I’m looking forward to it. I have a bunch of new tracks I’ll be playing this weekend and they’ll be up online soon too.

It’s obviously been a real journey for you over the last year, what’s the biggest thing you’ve learnt musically?
To let go of worrying what people might think of my lyrics. For a while I had started censoring myself because I was worried people might think that each song defined me. But each song is its own individual moment and it nothing can ever define you forever

Last edited: 27.07.16

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