Meet Tristan Mckelvey: singer, guitarist, one man wonder. Elms is the Norwich lad’s second EP, and the straight forward acoustic tracks, barely there percussion and multi-layered vocals could (and should) play a major part in your new autumn playlist.
Elms opens with ‘Father’. This 33-second number promises a lot, diving straight into an elaborate arrangement of nothing but Tristan’s voice. It’s a cracking hook. ‘Names’ follows shortly after and once again is a gem. The whole EP is, actually. There isn’t a dud on it. All raw guitar edges (something so beautiful about fingers on strings, isn’t there?), muted yet climatic cymbals and Tristan’s folky tones. Dropping an octave or two for ‘See Out’ gives an insight into Tristan’s range. Hitting higher notes in earlier tracks he drops to sexy, gravelly tones in this ‘un. Sold.
It’s the simplicity of the EP which makes it; showcasing Mckelvey’s soft, deep, exquisite vocals, which exercise supreme control and just the right amount of layering so it adds to the tracks without getting gimmicky. Sarah Jayne Morris’s efforts on the album art are lovely too.
Another cracking Bare Feet Records artist, Mckelvey’s six track EP is available on his Bandcamp for the minimal sum of £2, and his first EP The Night is free. Happy September.
Dance Yrself Clean