“No more sad songs”
Upon listening to Elvis Depressedly’s last release Holo Pleasures, it is almost hard to believe Mat Cothran and Delaney Mills are capable of writing optimistic songs. Yet, in the band’s latest effort, New Alhambra, they do just that. With the same introspective scope and a newfound sense of wellbeing, Elvis Depressedly demonstrates their ability to look toward the sun and embrace life.
Most tracks on this album have a similar low key lo-fi pop feel, while the album opener and closer punctuate the release with a different sound. The first song “Thou Shall Not Murder” features more distortion and backing tracks that the rest of the tracks. While those elements are present throughout nearly all tracks up until the closer, it is much more prominent here. However, while it does set the song apart and starts the album on a dramatic note, it seems a bit too layered and lush for casual listening.
The guts of the record take simpler approach, allowing the listener to appreciate each element individually and together as a whole halfway through the album. Gentle percussion adds a sense of delicacy to songs. In conjunction with the synth back tracks, tracks like “N.M.S.S.” and “Rock N’ Roll” have a cool contrast of synthetic versus organic sound.
Although the last song on New Alhambra, the closing track is clearly the focal point of the album. With an acoustic guitar and Cothran on vocals, “Wastes of Time” is simple, which is even more emphasized after listening to the rest of the album’s lo-fi tracks. However, that emphasis leaves the song’s message lingering long after the album is over.
Through this LP’s nine tracks, religious analogies and mentions of God and the Devil both to proclaim inner strength, uncertainty, and an overall sense of comfort with death. While previous works dwell on an impending sense of doom and overwhelming depression, New Alhambra castes a new light on inner demons with “Wastes of Time.” With the chorus “If you try, I will try / if we fuck up, it’s alright / there is so much more to life / than all these wastes of time,” the mistakes and risks in life do not deserve emphasis. Instead, Cothran and Mills urge us to continue to look towards new opportunity.
A definite change of pace for the Run for Cover band, New Alhambra demonstrates Elvis Depressedly’s ability to change their perspective and use their songwriting abilities to inspire.
Buy it, Stream it, or Skip it? Stream it. Listen to the album from front to back to get the full effect.