ELDR – Nowhere Else To Go – EP
Released October 29th this 5 song EP Nowhere Else To Go (Independent) opens with pristine vocals by Hanna Rae over a haunting treated instrumentation that often distracts from the beauty of a song. But here on “Coming Undone,” it’s wisely produced & used with restrained effect.
When her partner multi-instrumentalist Jameson Elder joins Hanna their voices unify warmly which elevates the accompaniment. Fairly close to the vintage beauty created decades ago by the late folkies Richard & Mimi Farina.
Cut 2 rocks more – “Nowhere Else To Go,” kicks in with a dynamically strong melody. It’s one of their best.
The Nashville-based duo (a husband-wife pair who met in 2013) had solo careers & decided to produce this fine collection born out of the events of the last 2 years. The first two songs deal with deep sorrow, & uncertain circumstances. However, the songs generally were meant to hopefully bring some joy into people’s lives.
The duo successfully navigates their music with care. Ms. Rae has a voice that is equal parts Emmylou Harris & Mary Chapin Carpenter. There’s a sweetness but drops of vinegar as well which makes her showcase potent. She does have a diversified tone that prevents her from being a vocalist who emulates past singers. At some point in her career, Hanna needs to explore songs with deeper lyrics (think Joni Mitchell, Ferron & Nanci Griffith).
The melodies are all well-written & strong. They avoid the glitches & trappings of commercialism. They are mainstream but cautious. “My Love Looks Good On You,” is an excellent country-inspired song with clever lyrics that can be instantly relatable to a listener’s ear.
Jon Truman provides drums to Elder’s varied performances. Excellent showcase. All songs were written by the duo & it was recorded almost entirely in their home studio quite well.
The final track is another exceptional melody driven by articulate vocals – “You’re What Makes A Good Day.” These songs aren’t innovative, they’re going to sound somewhat familiar at times to older ears, but the duo’s aim is towards an audience that hasn’t heard the high quality of such tunes that are similar in spirit. And I repeat — it has mainstream appeal but it’s not cliché syrupy commercialized music. It has value, lots of it & deserves repeated plays.
The 17-minute CD suggests this duo deserves an entire album when they’re ready. It would be worth the time to listen, I would.
Color image courtesy of Alaina Broyles/Skye Media. CD available @ https://www.eldrmusic.com/