Wednesday, July 27, 2011
New Elysian Fields [Last Night On Earth] Filled with Nifty Songs, Jennifer's Wonderous Voice
Elysian Fields generally get my attention, whatever they happen to be doing at any point. Whether it's Spanish Sephardic tradition reworked, ultra-hip post-cabaret, or downtown rock, they have a way about them. The new one, Last Night On Earth (OJET 013) goes the route of their highly individual rock and it does so with lots of style and panache.
Oran Bloedow is on hand as usual as song co-author, bassist, keyboarder, guitarist and second vocalist. Jennifer Charles does the main vocals as only she can, and co-wrote the songs.
It is very like Elysian Fields to begin a potentially apocalyptic-themed album with "Sleepover." Should the adolescents twist to Chubby Checker? Ah, but lurking in the shadows is a guy with a knife. It's the combination of sweetness and darkness that make this group a part of the times, like a David Lynch movie.
Jennifer Charles' voice comes across as well as ever with her indolent delivery and breathy whisper-vocals. There is nobody quite like her. But hey also the lyrics and songs here are good-o.
This may well solidify and multiply the Elysian following. But it isn't like they are "selling out." You still get music of depth, with plenty to experience and mull over.
For the guitarists reading this, there's a blistering solo or two. It's the songs and Jennifer's voice that make the Elysians special, though.
I recommend Last Night very much. It's one of their best.