Here today with a slick swagger and upbeat charisma, we are pleased to present our readers the latest musical output from the progressive indie rock band known as Elk City. Their new single, ‘That Someone’, addresses the dual nature of self and other, of excitement and dismay.
Revolving around its founders – artist/vocalist Renee LoBue and producer/drummer Ray Ketchem – the band also includes members of Versus, Luna and the Psychedelic Furs side-project Feed.
With a vocal timbre somewhere in the midst of Chrissie Hynde, Blondie and Patti Smith, lead vocalist Renee LoBlue lures us in on this song from the get-go, first by singing in stride to the backdrop of a guitar-laden train of thought before transitioning to the groovy melody of the chorus.
“We’ve never used this much improv before,” says Renee LoBue of this initial single and the forthcoming album.
Ray Ketchem adds: “The stuff you hear is happening in the moment, while tape was rolling.” The result is a song that is white-hot, catchy and propels the listener ahead in forward motion – it somewhat feels like a journey and one taken at night in lively urban terrain.
With a sound that is animated, invigorated and certainly wielding the guitar as their instrument of choice, scary. The shadow-laden, the collective has generously shared this first single from their album ‘Above the Water’ LP with us and through us to you.
Opening up their new chapter in the New Jersey-based band’s evolutionary story, it only seems right that the accompanying video was filmed in their home town of Montclair, along with shots taken in New York City. This video showcases the music to shadow dancing, so to speak, the video created and edited by Ray Ketchem.
‘That Someone’ and the full ‘Above the Water’ LP will be released via the new Magic Door Record Label, founded by Guided by Voices drummer Kevin March with Ketchem and LoBue. These three neighbors, collaborators and friends launched the label with a simple mission to release music created by the rich community of artists who surround them.
With a glimmering rock thread, ‘That Someone’ dishes up potent atmospheric pop with psychedelic undertones and overtones. Ketchem and LoBue’s co-pilots here are uniquely qualified for this high-flying task: twin rods of lightning in guitarists Sean Eden(Luna) and Chris Robertson(Feed, Punch Havana), and electrifying bass courtesy of Richard Baluyut (Versus).
Opening with a riff akin to early Sleater-Kinney or ‘Loaded’-era Velvets, it quickly goes Blondie, then unleashes into the kind of full-fledged tornado that is uniquely Elk City.
From there, Richard Baluyut became the band’s rehearsal tape archivist and obsessive editor, building out these rehearsal room jams into something completely different: The kind of elegantly crafted 3:30 pop songs that decades ago, bands would press onto a 12-inch, one to a side, almost as if to say, “Here’s a song you can get swept up in. Here’s a song about what it feels like to be alive.”
‘Above the Water’ was recorded, mixed and mastered at Ketchem’s Magic Door Recording studio, opened in 2017 as an acoustically lush refuge where musical expression and experimentation can unfurl. Ketchem, whose production credits include Guided By Voices, Luna, and Gramercy Arms, partnered with legendary studio designer George Augspurger to transform a cavernous warehouse into a freeform studio where vintage microphones, modern studio gear, and bespoke sound tuning elevate and inspire.
As of August 31, ‘That Someone’ will be available everywhere digitally, including Apple Music, Tidal, Qobuz, Spotify and Bandcamp, where the full album can already be pre-ordered. The ‘Above The Water’ LP will be released on October 21.
Renee LoBue – lead vocals, percussion
Chris Robertson – guitars, backing vocals
Ray Ketchem – drums, percussion, synths, sounds
Sean Eden – guitars
Richard Baluyut – bass, synths, backing vocals
Recorded, Mixed & Mastered by Ray Ketchem at Magic Door Recording, Montclair, NJ
Songs written and performed by Elk City.
© 2022 sound is crazy music (BMI)
Single cover artwork by Ray Ketchem. Album artwork by Ray Ketchem & Renee LoBue