(Photo Credit - Josephine McRobbie)
Advance Review - Elephant Micah: Vague Tidings (April 9, 2021) via Western Vinyl
Drawing inspiration from his trip to the incomparable state of Alaska, songwriter/producer Joseph O'Connell has produced the ethereal Vague Tidings. Vague Tidings begins with the methodically paced single "Glacier Advisors", the track at least initially evokes memories of long forgotten J. Tillman tracks. That is, before we're given some additional backing vocals and sax work.
So goes Vague Tidings, it is very much an album that draws it's inspiration from the roots of Americana sensibilities. O'Connell is varied in his approach to his songwriting on this one, at times he's methodical as on "Glacier Advisors", other times he appears to be more playful, especially with the piano on "Return to the Abandoned Observatory".
Incorporating varied instrumentation throughout Vague Tidings, O'Connell always has an ace up his sleeve. That is, just when you think he's going to zig, he zags. The result is a fresh sounding take on the all too familiar genre of Americana/roots music. There's more in the pot that is Vague Tidings, than what the listener would expect. There's even sprinklings of the spirit of jazz in this album. It's an interesting album that keeps it's pace, and brings you along for the journey. O'Connell can spin a low-key deliberate tune with the best of them. I'd have loved to see what he could do if he picked it up just a bit melodically on a track.
Rating - 3.5/5