Drew Elliott released two singles earlier this year. They were precursors to his beautiful new EP, “From Bonfires.” The record drops today. It features more of Mr. Elliott’s signature thoughtful and dreamy songwriting.
A great novel will pull you into its story. Likewise, a great record can do the same. I was similarly immersed into the world Drew creates on “From Bonfires.”
The artist incorporates themes, styles and techniques that tie these songs together. As a result, a group of songs is transformed into a cohesive whole. Half-whispered vocals, cool acoustic/electronic hybrid instrumentation, and Drew’s lyrical poetry all flow through the record. They paint scenes of love, loss, and escape.
Shades of Blue
“From Bonfires” starts in a dream. Over hypnotic minimalist drum machine percussion, Drew recounts a tale to his lover. Due to the dream setting, the song includes plenty of inherent uncertainty. Maybe the couple is together. Maybe not.
The dreamy symbolism makes this a perfect introduction to the record, and to Drew. His acoustic guitar shares space with sparingly applied synths, and Drew’s earnest yet soft spoken voice.
A World Stood Still
This was the first song I heard from Drew. It is a complex analysis of love, anxiety, and the impact they have on one another. Click here to read the full review.
There was a time when I was in the business of helping record labels determine which of their songs should be radio singles. No one cares about record labels or radio these days. So I don’t do that job anymore.
If I were still in that gig, I’d probably lean toward “Drive” as the song to send to radio. The chorus has an immediately singable and memorable melody. The verse is a linear narrative loaded with imagery. It sounds cinematic. As the song itself says, “it felt like a movie.”
Love and Prozac
This was the second single released in advance of the EP. I reviewed it back in August. It is a little darker and more direct than some of the more esoteric stuff here. The protagonist doesn’t find a resolution. Read the full review here.
Fall Into You
Drew simplifies the approach on “Fall Into You.” The tune is a quiet acoustic guitar song with only very subtle accompaniment. Furthermore, he returns to the theme of escaping into love. In this case, he is falling into the object of his affection as an alternative to any other solution.
For example he sings, “Give me some time to find my way, in spite of yesterday. Or I’ll fall into you.” As a result, he chooses to escape into the love of another, above all other solutions.
I love the way the harmonies come together on the refrain. Something about the falsetto background vocal reminded me of Joni Mitchell.
The record ends with a simple, beautiful instrumental. All of the production tapestry is gone. Hence we find the artist sitting at his piano alone, closing the book with this final farewell. As a result, we can hear the creak of the piano hammers and the squeak of the foot pedals as he plays. I love it.
Check out the “From Bonfires” for yourself, and follow the links below to connect with Drew.