Ellington - The Joy We Keep In Label: Starving Kids Records Producer: Joshua Burton Release Date: April 1, 2007
Ahhh, the emotional summer breeze has whisked its way upon us. It's the time of the year we all wait for (except for maybe the winter holiday season), where we can experience so much life and look back later with so much fondness.
Nothing beats a warm night underneath the blanketed sky of stars, dreaming of what could be, hoping tomorrow's your new awakening and that yesterday is nothing you regret. It's the priceless times like these you find yourself truly thankful for being alive and feel comfortable inside your own skin.
It's also the perfect time for that certain soundtrack to be played alongside your life, one that is rich in atmospheric beauty, hushed emotion and provides the voice you cannot conjure up yourself.
Hailing from Down Under (a.k.a. Australia), indie rock has now found that perfect voice to accompany its audience during such warm summer nights: Ellington.
The band's debut record, an 8-song EP entitled The Joy We Keep In, is layered with crisp acoustic strumming and low, clean-cut vocals, all backed by light drumming - it plays like Dashboard Confessional at Chris Carraba's most sensual moments and early Jimmy Eat World, before Jim Adkins discovered why he has some of rock's best vocals.
"Sunsets & Silhouettes" is the album's only real rock number, setting up the record's moodiness, with fuzzy, distorted guitars in the background. Jake Bosci sounds like he's whispering into the ear of his lover during a quiet evening in the park, watching the fireworks light up the nighttime horizon. Arguably the EP's best track comes from "A Straighter Line," which barely registers above a whisper, but contains all the emotional push-and-pull you'd be likely to find on any intelligent, real-life, honest, young band's album.
The title track takes it down a notch by reciting odes to lovelorn youngsters who are having difficulties figuring out what true love is, yet seem to desire it so much. "Turn To Your Eskimo Friend" takes a while to get into itself, but contains some of Bosci's best lyrical work, explaining that in order to fulfill your own happiness, you have to take yourself out of the comfortable situation you find cutting you down.
The last four tracks are all acoutic, and again, show why this band has potential to be the next version of Sherwood or Time & Distance. On the song "Distance," Bosci sings "I've been reaching for the highest shelves, reading the oldest books // but I still don't feel intelligent, and I'd smile if I could." The self-deprecating song about love between distance is rather sad, yet opens the band's heart up and reveals the intensity of their songwriting.
Finishing the record with the anthemic battlecry of "Long Nights Hold Tight," it seems like the perfect way to end a record like this, especially at this moment, when the sun begins to stay in the sky longer and the stars seem so much brighter. "Take my heart // It, and all these scars," Bosci screams out as the final words to the record.
It seems like he's speaking to the girl he adores in the song, but perhaps, he's telling the audience that his revelations could be yours just as well.
This is the perfect review.
Every time I listen to these guys, on cd or live, I'm blown away.
They take you away to a little place you often forget, where everything is perfect...you just become so absorbed in the music.
They have so much talent and passion for what they do and have so much more to show the world.
They've come so far already.
I'll be with you all the way boys.