13-09-2023 Music 57

Elk City - Tried To Move On

Elk City - Tried To Move On

New Jersey art-rock collective Elk City present 'Tried To Move On', the second taste of 'Undertow', the band's seventh album to date. This follows the voluminous consciousness-building lead track 'Strong (You're Not Alone)', a swirling neo-psychedelic folk song baked in cult obsessiveness.

Founded by Renée LoBue and Ray Ketchem, Elk City is brilliantly rounded out by Luna’s Sean Eden, Richard Baluyut (Versus) and Chris Robertson (Psychedelic Furs side project Feed, Punch Havana).

Ketchem, a renowned producer (Guided By Voices, Luna, Gramercy Arms) recorded, mixed and mastered the 'Undertow' album, which will be released via Montclair, NJ-based Magic Door Record Label, co-founded several years ago by Guided by Voices' Kevin March, Ketchem and artist Renée LoBue.

“'Tried to Move On' finds the band following our pop tendencies. The song is perfect for the end of summer, while the weather is still inviting outside. Close and intimate during the verses and chorus, the song opens up in the middle with a triumphant instrumental section," explains Ray Ketchem.  

"In the production, I used small, close sounds to create the rhythm track. I recorded the sound of various metal objects, such as music and microphone stands, and then manipulated the audio. The songs feature one of my favorite lyrics, “the hours turn into weeks, turn into years”.

Renée LoBue adds, "A boomerang of a breezy pop song that slides into your DMs to say, "Hi, you're living in denial." Wearing pastels and beaming. Bursting with... Joy? Anger? It’s “All Gucci” as the kids say, until the chorus barrels through, morphing into a different song that's not on the guest list. You're left in a whirlpool of self-created confusion. But I do like whirlpools because they remind me of jacuzzis and any correlation between our band and jacuzzis satisfies me to pieces. People put up with hunks of BS because fooling themselves is easier than walking an unknown path. Walk your unknown path. But keep your jacuzzi."

Like their sixth album 'Above the Water', this record is inspired by the band’s love of documentaries like 'The Source Family' and 'Wild, Wild Country' - films that explore the allure of cults and extreme alternative lifestyles.

From the opening title track, 'Undertow' sucks you into a different kind of record with peculiar pop constructs built of rare materials, found only in the wilds behind Magic Door Recording Studio in Montclair, which legendary studio designer George Augspurger helped transform into a freeform studio where vintage microphones, modern studio gear, and bespoke sound tuning elevate and inspire.

This is where Elk City has meticulously built this record and this band a whole other way. Even after seven albums, Elk City are still deliberately hard to define, still seekers, unafraid to shed this life and lead the listener on a journey to new sounds and feelings... Welcome to Elk City.
As of August 30, 'Tried To Move On' will be available across fine digital outlets, including Apple Music, Spotify and Bandcamp, where the full 'Undertow' album (out September 22) is already available for pre-order.

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