Songwriter Elli Hart needs comfortable surroundings to create her melodies.
In the evenings, she turns down the lights, pours herself a glass of wine and lights candles. Then she takes out her guitar.
“I need my surroundings to be calm,” she said.
She accesses her mind, searching for moments of inspiration she has encountered throughout the day.
“Inspiration is everywhere if you let yourself be open to what you see,” said Hart.
Ideas for songs can come from walking down the street or people she knows.
“I have a huge imagination and create storylines and characters,” said Hart.
Other times, creating a song isn’t planned. She could be driving down the road in her van and a song just starts forming in her head. In those instances, she grabs her phone and quickly turns it on to record her inspiration or else the song may be forgotten.
Hart is the lead singer and songwriter for the band Dirty Mountain. The band recently released its debut album called 01. There are eight tracks on the recording and Hart wrote all the songs.
The song Ashes starts off the record.
“This is a song about a woman left by a man,” said Hart.
The man wanted a woman who would live a more domestic life. The lyrics deal with the woman’s emotions over his decision.
Dirty Mountain formed last year. Hart has known the drummer, Tom Salter, for years. She met him during an open jam night in her hometown of Victoria. She met Lane Ardnt, the lead guitarist, through mutual friends and bass player Gord Light at an open mike jam.
Hart said Bonnie Raitt is her biggest musical influence. Other influences include Emmylou Harris and 1920s and ’30s blues music.
Dirty Mountain performs at the Vault Café Friday (April 8) at 8 p.m. Tickets are a $5-10 at the door.