The latest album by lo-fi act Elvis Depressedly enhances their reputation as one of the finest bedroom indie-pop acts around
ew Alhambra is the follow-up to Asheville bedroom indie-pop band Elvis Depressedly’s 2013 LP Holo Pleasures and the band’s fourth studio album in total. Having built a reputation as one of the finest exponents of their genre, something enhanced by their association with lo-fi darling Alex G, it’s a record that’s been eagerly awaited by fans new and old.
With previous albums adopting a style of fragile lo-fi guitar-pop that suggested the band had fixed four walls onto a fog-hammered moor and planted a bed amidst the mist, the question was whether New Alhambra would be more of the same or a change of tack. The answer is given in opener Thou Shall Not Murder. Built on a rolling melody and windswept augmentation, it has all the traits of old, but is treated to the benefit of improved production values. Mathew Lee Cothran’s vocal too is as delicate as before, but, perhaps emboldened by the certainty of having quit his day job to make Elvis Depressedly his priority, feels imbued with a greater confidence.
The songwriting too has moved-up a level, with New Heaven, New Earth seeing Cothran in the best spirits musically that he’s ever been and the beautiful lo-fi pop masterpiece of Big Break sounding like it could be just that. Elsewhere, the title track has well placed ambient clicks and bleeps, while Ease sums up just how natural Cothran’s talent for writing an affecting melody seems to be, and Wastes Of Time ends the record on a sweet note.
Clocking in at less than 20 minutes – a slimline 18:53 – and featuring just nine songs could have seen New Alhambra leaving you feeling short-changed. If anything though it demonstrates the strength of the album, with Elvis Depressedly packing more ideas into their work than many of their peers manage in an hour of material. New Alhambra is a superb record of heart-rending and beautifully composed lo-fi indie-pop, one that any fan of the genre will treasure and one that should cement Elvis Depressedly’s reputation as masters of their craft.
Verdict: Out of the bedroom and into your heart