This week in the Midweek Music Mix we look at the latest releases David R. Elliott, Rival and Wolfebrook.
David R. Elliott – Tenderly
It’s been over a year now since Saint John-born musician David R. Elliott first began hinting towards his forthcoming album, Common St. After sharing a pair of tracks from the project during the summer of 2018, Common St. seemed to get put on the back shelf for a spell while Elliott worked on other projects.
Last week, Elliott broke his long silence and shared the surprise three song EP, Tenderly. This trio of acoustic songs – not associated with his upcoming album at all – find Elliott continuing to evolve his craft through explorations in form and flavour. Beautiful Tonight, the EP’s opening track, is a dreamy folk song that finds Elliott using subtle shifts in dynamic and progression to paint a near perfect picture of love and summer sun, and everything else that’s right in the world. Guided by a simple repetitive progression, Elliott sounds as free as ever, as he builds the song’s instrumentation to support a few simple poetic lines.
The following tracks – Jerusalem and Courtesy – continue in similar form, led primarily by acoustic guitar and a few simple, effective elements of rhythm and melody.
Elliott is a treasure that shines brighter with each new release. Always progressing. Always enjoyable.
Rival – EP.01
It’s been too long since I’ve featured something as heavy as Rival’s debut EP, the appropriately titled, EP.01. For a long time, Saint John was to heavy music as Moncton is to punk rock. Things may have diversified over the years, but it’s nice to know growling and grinding haven’t left the scene completely.
For the most part, EP.01 is a down-tempo grind that sludges along with the weight of a dozen locomotives (or should that be cruise ships? They are from Saint John after all). All the usual elements commonly associated with heavy music are present and accounted for – screaming vocals, big down-beat rhythms and huge guitar riffs. If this is what you crave, a surface level listen will satisfy your head bobbing needs. But if you want more from your listening experience, Rival also deliver some sophisticated arrangements full of complex changes in time and rhythm. This EP is a great introduction to a strong ensemble.
Wolfebrook – The Way Heaven Looked
Wolfebrook’s debut EP, The Way Heaven Looked, is comprised of four solo guitar compositions, each a relaxing and meditative exploration of simple sounds and melodies. Unlike a film score which is used to enhance and already established situation, Wolfebrook’s arrangements – though similar in form and structure to a motion picture soundtrack – succeed in creating unique environments all their own before moving the listener through the fictional streets, landscapes and emotions they’ve created. The Way Heaven Looked is as strong a debut as anyone could hope to create. Bravo.
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If you are a New Brunswick artist or group, have new music on the way and would like to be considered for a future edition of Midweek Music Mix, send us the details at gridcitymagazine(at)gmail.com