Sweet Spirit knows how to put on a show. After all, the nine-piece band hailing from Austin, Texas is basically one big power pop party. And at the helm is frontwoman Sabrina Ellis, an outspoken badass who knows how to captivate a room, and look good while doing so. “Risky, sexy, tough,” she responded when we asked her to sum up her style in three words.
Having recently toured with Har Mar Superstar, which could also classify as a portable party, Sweet Spirit has something new to celebrate, the arrival of their sophomore record, St. Mojo. Out today via Nine Mile Records, you can catch Ellis and co. on tour now through May 20.
We caught up with Ellis to talk on-stage style, Ginger Spice and vintage shopping across the States. Read on below.
Paste: Tell us a little bit about your style and how it influences you and your performance on stage.
Sabrina Ellis: Onstage, I like to dress glam, larger than life. That helps me get my confidence up for the show. Like a peacock. If I wear the wrong outfit, I risk being distracted or anxious during the show.
Paste: What do you think makes up an ideal stage outfit?
Ellis: My favorite stage costumes fit me like a glove, are danceable and have some unique aspect. I mean, something that will move or catch the light—sequins, velvet, spandex or tassels. In a pinch, I can put these silver epaulettes on any black shirt or leotard and it’s a good look. Brilliant.
Paste: How would you say your on-stage style differs from your off-stage style?
Ellis: Onstage, I am pretty glam. Offstage, I have no style. I just walk around in t-shirts and jeans. Sometimes no jeans, just t-shirts.
Paste: Are there any specific artists who have influenced your style?
Ellis: Debbie Harry, I especially love her monochromatic outfits, PJ Harvey, big hair, t-shirt, underwear, Whitney Houston, athletic, comfortable and glam and Ginger Spice, so audacious.
Paste: Any favorite places to shop or find one-of-a-kind wardrobe pieces?
Ellis: Charm School Vintage on the East Side. I try to stop by before each tour. Usually, I walk in and the perfect item is waiting for me, like a size 6 pair of lace up leather hot pants. I rely on my friends a lot for help. My friend Bekah Cope outfits me when I pass through Nashville. Lindsey White in Brooklyn designed and welded a one of a kind necklace for my performances. Morgan Catalina found my dream leotard, red with a hood.
Paste: What’s an item in your closet you could not leave for tour without?
Ellis: My red hooded leotard, aka my Gimme Fiction leotard.
Paste: Do you have any beauty essentials?
Ellis: I always have an oil on hand, jojoba or argon, whatever is available, for my hair and skin. I like Burt’s Bees lip balm. And if all my makeup got stolen, I would vengefully hunt down my eyebrow pencil.
Paste: If you had to sum up your personal style in three words, what would they be?
Ellis: Risky, sexy, tough.