Toronto-based band Elliott Brood—there is no single Elliott in the band, the Brood being a shadowy figure constructed out of vocalist/guitarist/ukulele- and banjo-picker Mark Sasso, guitarist/vocalist/ukulele-picker Casey LaForet and drummer Steve Pitkin—has a way of sounding like a ghost from the past while remaining firmly rooted in the modern times. It's like a traveller—someone part preacher/part snake-oil salesman—rolled his covered wagon right out of the 19th century and parked it in the 21st.
There's a tendency to approach Elliott Brood's music like this, with a sort of literary reach that fills in the blanks that the band leaves in its songs. Maybe that's because the band draws ideas from the past—Mountain Meadows references the Mountain Meadows massacre, the slaughter of 120 emigrants by a Mormon miltia in 1857—but than lets the narratives find their own way rather than forcing a historical storyline into the songs.
It's hard to pull exact details from the album—it's more like snapshots of various characters and places that come together in the listener's mind to construct a tale that no doubt shifts and changes between different people, and sometimes likely even for an individual listening for a second, third or fourth time.
Friday, January 02, 2009
Album "Mountain Meadows" gets rave reviews
Excerpts of "New Sounds - Elliot Brood" by Eden Munro