Elephant Micah - Vague Tidings
The raw inspiration for Vague Tidings came from a 2006 DIY tour of Alaska - something between a concert tour, a camping trip, and an extended jam session, all taking place under the legendary midnight sun. By necessity, the venues were non-traditional - a public library here, a health food store there - and half the playing went unobserved by any audience at all.
“When I got back from Alaska, I began to draw more from the idea of ‘new worlds’ rather than a European ‘old world’” says Joe O’Connell, aka Elephant Micah. This new material expressed itself in metaphors of mountain climbing, gold prospecting, and stellar observation. An American tradition of cowboy bronzes and sublime landscapes tends to glorify Western expansion. For his part, O’Connell intended to cast doubt on it. “What I had in mind, I think, was a kind of song that, instead of celebrating progress, was broadly anxious about where it was leading,” he explains.
At times reminiscent of the starkest uncanny Americana of Jason Molina, Will Oldham and Bill Callahan, Vague Tidings' eight songs follow a path between foggy incantations and mountain anthems. Made with a small cohort of acoustic instrumentalists, the record is rough hewn, but easy on the ears. To put Vague Tidings down on tape, O’Connell assembled some of his favourite musicians in Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina, where he’s lived since 2015: Libby Rodenbough (Mipso) bows and plucks a detuned fiddle, Matt Douglas (Mountain Goats) breathes life into various woodwinds, and Matt O’Connell (Lean Year) sets the pace on a two-piece drum set. Ultimately, this is foreboding but spacious music, with plenty of room for reconsidering life on earth.
Pipe Diversions Bored Auroras
The Cantor The Labrador
Return to the Abandoned Observatory
From Anti Gravity
- Limited edition deluxe LP comes in an extra heavy textured sleeve with metallic silver ink, and includes 12” square insert with lyrics and images of the artist
- CD is housed in deluxe gatefold card sleeve with metallic silver ink and 5mm spine
- LP contains download coupon
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