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Ekali and Illenium Collab Worth the Wait

Written by: Sam Wolloch

Photo by: Julian Cassady

Friday is a magical day in EDM land, as we get blessed with a boat-load of new music releases, and this Friday is no different. Well, except that I’ve been waiting over six months for this song to finally be made official after getting played for the first time at Electric Daisy Carnival Las Vegas this past May. You have likely heard it too, if you’ve been lucky enough to catch a recent set from Ekali or snag a spot at Illenium’s Ascend tour this fall.

The track Hard to Say Goodbye is an Ekali and Illenium collab featuring vocals by Chloe Angelides on Ekali’s upcoming album, A World Away. Prior to today, I had been all over YouTube playing a variety of uploads, some from the end of Ekali’s EDC or Lost Lands set, and others from Illenium’s Ascend tour with vocal support from Annika Wells. But there is nothing like the real thing, and I am so excited to finally hear the full studio version because I truly feel a connection to this tune. Before discussing the song itself though, I’d like to mention the newly-engaged Ekali begins his A World Away Tour in early 2020, while Illenium wraps up his Ascend Tour to finish 2019.

Looking over the lyrics and sensing the mood of the music really drives home the feeling of melancholy and avoidance in this song. It reads to me that someone is struggling in their relationship, but is unable to muster up the strength to leave because of the fear and uncertainty of moving on alone. For anyone that’s been in a rough spot like that, I hope you were able to find the strength to do what you needed to do to move on. Music has the power to inspire action!

Photo by: Sam Wolloch

For me, I found more meaning in the words of the chorus, a feeling that didn’t quite fit the script of the song. You see, this past June my partner passed away in a tragic traffic accident and it has been REALLY hard to say goodbye. I STILL don’t want to say goodbye, yet I know I also need to move on. But more than those lyrics, it’s that Odesza-sounding flat note at the end of the hook that gets in my feels. Every. Single. Time! I can best describe the feeling of that note as a yearning for something special that is forever out of reach and the drop rarely fails to bring a tear to my eye. I miss you Jane!

Photo by: Sam Wolloch

This is the true power of music and I am so thankful to have found a means to access and release my feelings. I know this song review probably took a dark turn you weren’t expecting; I appreciate you all for being here for it and hope you too can find meaning from this gift of music we are all so lucky to share. You can always connect with me @samwolloch on your favorite social and let me know if you have a special song that holds a place in your heart.


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