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ELLIOTT BROOD —GHOST GARDENS (Paper Bag Records)

 

www.elliottbrood.com

 

 

Canadian three-piece folk-rock / alt-country act Elliott Brood have been making albums since 2004, and music before that. Ghost Gardens is the band’s sixth full-length album, in many ways it could be seen as their most unique set of work. One reason is the fact it began with the rediscovery of lost demo songs dating back a decade and a half.

 

Awash in raw energy, sometimes more raw than other on other occasions the album follows the more recent Work And Love (2014) and the WW1 inspired 2011 release Days Into Years (also on Paper Bag), and with the usual intensity come such songs as “2 4 6 8” and “The Fall” to go with the sensitive, and arguably beautiful “Adeline” and with infectious banjo, raucus lead vocals complete with a sing-a-long feel “’Til The Sun Comes Up Again”. I dare you to pass up this Carnival styled gem, and or the absolutely brilliant “Dig A Little Hole”. With its simple melody and superb harmony vocals you could just as easily be listening to Simon & Garfunkle of yester-year, yes, a little quirky (the lyrics are sure to bring a smile to your face, and tune pump your heart with joy) but that doesn’t stop it being hugely impressive, and as in my case with mandolin and all the handclaps totally addictive.  

 

Flitting from upbeat to the dark, oppressive, or could that simply be reflective, the unit (Mark Sasso, Casey Laforet and Stephen Pitkin) through “The Widower”, and of a more gentle feel “Gentle Temper” that comes complete with banjo and more. You are have the mellow composition “T.S Armstrong” and instrumental “Thin Air” and, complete with outer space frequency sound affects “Searching”, before they close with a darkly coloured “For The Girl” as the band’s eclecticism is completed.

 

After playing the record a number of times I can’t but feel the latter trait is over played, to the detriment of the band’s more reachable ever probing earthy sound. 

 

                                                Maurice Hope    

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November 2017

1
JW Roy & The Royal Family
80 pts.
A Room Full Of Strangers
Royal Family Records
EM,BH,RST,LK
2
Chris Hillman
79 pts.
Bidin' My Time
Rounder
BP,FS,HD
3
Turnpike Troubadours
46 pts.
Long Away From Your Heart
Bossier City Records
HM,TK
4
Jolie Holland & Samantha Parton
36 pts.
Wildflower Blues
Cinquefoil Records
TJ
5
Eilen Jewell
34 pts.
Down Hearted Blues
Signature Sounds
 
6
Lucinda Williams
31 pts.
This Sweet Old World
Highway 20/Thirty Tigers
BR,MW
7
JD McPherson
29 pts.
Undivided Heart & Soul
New West
JS
8
Mark Martyre
26 pts.
Rivers
Independent
FC
 
Tom Russell
26 pts.
Folk Hotel
Frontera Records-Proper Records
SP
10
Anna Tivel
25 pts.
Small Believer
Fluff And Gravy Records
MG
 
Margo Price
25 pts.
All American Made
Third Man Records
JB
12
Fred Wickham
22 pts.
Mariosa Delta
Thirty Days Records
RK
 
Joe Henry
22 pts.
Thrum
Ear Music
HVB,PJ
 
Whitney Rose
22 pts.
Rule 62
Six Shooter/Thirty Tigers
 
15
Dick LeMasters
18 pts.
Incompatible Things
Longneck Road Music
HDB,JJ
 
Jim White
18 pts.
Waffles, Triangles & Jesus
Loose Music
LM,SZ
 
Peter Gallway
18 pts.
Feels Like Religion
Gallway Bay Music
CVL,DHO
18
Thomm Jutz
17 pts.
Crazy If You Let It
Mountain Fever Records
 
19
Kris Delmhorst
16 pts.
The Wild
Blue Blade Records
 
20
Daniel Crabtree
15 pts.
In The Shadow Of His Wings
Independent
 
 
Jeremy Pinnell
15 pts.
Ties Of Blood And Affection
Sofaburn Records
 
 
Julien Baker
15 pts.
Turn Out The Lights
Matador
EZ
23
Amber Cross
14 pts.
Savage on the Downhill
Independent
 
 
Chris Blevins
14 pts.
Better than Alone
Horton Records
 
 
David Rawlings
14 pts.
Poor David's Almanack
Acony Records
 
 
Grainne Duffy
14 pts.
Where I Belong
Independent
GC,RW
 
Jeff Crosby
14 pts.
Postcards From Magdalena
At The Helm Records

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