Drawing on diverse influences, James Elkington offers up a unique blend of folk-rock on his debut album, Wintres Woma. Out Friday on the influential Paradise of Bachelors label, the record is the sort of thing that deserves a lot of attention from careful listeners.
Opener "Make It Up" sees Elkington offer up a Bert Jansch-like ramble on the guitar underneath his deep vocals. The cut is a spry, if understated, one and it's a fine example of this distinctive performer's style. On "Grief Is Not Coming", Elkington uses a near-country-twang to deliver his quiet-yet-upbeat composition, while on the longer "Greatness Yet To Come", there's the faintest hint of acoustic Jimmy Page in Elkington's plucking on the guitar as the vocal delivery veers more into Elliott Smith-style territory. Elkington's strength is his ability to meld a few very specific influences into something wholly his own. If "My Trade In Sun Tears" recalls, however slightly, something from a performer like Jeff Buckley, or even Tim Buckley, it's still Elkington's show here and the singer-guitarist manages to touch the heart even if some listeners will be grooving on what he's clearly drawing inspiration from on this cut, and throughout the record.
A stunning melange of folk-y stuff, with nods in the direction of artists as disparate as Johnny Greenwood, Badly Drawn Boy, and Nick Drake, Wintres Woma by James Elkington is a superb slice of music. Out on Friday via Paradise of Bachelors, Wintres Woma is the fine debut solo LP by James Elkington.
[Photo: Tim Harris]