Last summer, we covered Elvis Depressedly’s show at a very small art space in the North Davidson district of Charlotte. Tomorrow they’ll play Reverb Fest at the Neighborhood Theatre, a 1000-capacity venue in that same corner of the city. It will be their first show since the release of their new album, New Alhambra. The album marks a departure from the lo-fi-ness of their past releases, while still using older recording equipment. The result is something well-produced, yet with a unique sound. Outlining the album are obscure vocal samples that tie into the loose theme of the Second Coming. These often effect-ridden samples push the album forward until the end of its run time of just over 20 minutes.
Some of my favorite cuts from the album include: “Ease” (a song that takes note on self-consciousness and features a beautifully distant-sounding electric guitar), “Rock n’ Roll” (a song that smartly uses a classic rock & roll beat and has lyrics like “Jesus died on the cross so I could quit my job” that seem purposefully laughable), and “New Alhambra” (which boils down to an audacious belief that one can parry death eternally because pain has been replaced with numbness).
The last song, “Wastes of Times,” begins with a sudden dropout of the electronic ambiance that pervades the entire album. It’s a striking contrast that represents an acceptance of the bad if it means being able to look forward to what’s new and worthwhile. It’s also the least lethargic track on the album, and a quick glance at the lyrics will show hopeful and compassionate words: “Heartbreak can’t phase me. I am crazy, but I’m true.“ The brevity and minimalism of the track is refreshing, and heck, it nearly has me convinced that there actually will be “No More Sad Songs” from Elvis Depressedly.
You can still get tickets to tomorrow’s festival with Elvis Depressedly, Beach Fossils, and several of North Carolina’s most worthwhile bands and you can treat yourself to a copy of New Alhambra.
-DJ Nasty Nate