Week in Pop: Bret Koontz, Rock Abruham, Shmu, Sour Notes

Sjimon Gompers

Talking bars & brews with Rock Abruham; photographed by Enoch the 7th Prophet.

Elbows

Entering atmospheric & ethereal pop world of Elbows, oka Max Schieble; press photo courtesy of the artist.

Following up Corduroy, San Franciso by way of Brooklyn’s Elbows, oka Max Schieble, released the new EP Sycamore full of vibrant & evocative production arrangements. Playing Baby’s All Right January 31 in Brooklyn in support of the new record, Schieble’s EP named after a street recalled from youth allows the listener to rest in a world of sublime tranquility & comfort.

Elbows’ Sycamore works in ways that feels like a succinct daydream that you never want to end. Hushes & rushes of nostalgia move like the ebb & tide of the east & west coasts respectively as the EP begins with “The Rain/Sparrow Creek” where Schieble virtually teleports the listener back in time to that very reflective places archived in the annals of memory. The retro workings of “Windowpane” literally feels like the past being brought to the present where Max manufactures the feeling of yesterday being brought to the here & now of today in a very unique way. The time machine ride comes to a close with the sound collage of “Supper” that feels like you are brought back-in-time & then forward again in a way that would make Huey Lewis proud.

Max Schieble penned the following exclusive manifesto about the making of the Sycamore EP & other reflections:

Growing up, I always wanted to live on Sycamore Street. It was this real picturesque, residential street in the next town over from me. Lots of my friends lived there, people were always hanging, playing music at someone’s house, or biking around. Fun kid stuff. My house was far away though, at the top of this hill, way out of walking distance. When I first returned home to The Bay Area after moving away, walking down Sycamore made me revisit those feelings of isolation and longing.

Exclusive reflections courtesy of Elbows’ own Max Schieble; press photo courtesy of the artist.

Sycamore is the second installment of music from this larger body of work that includes my last EP, Corduroy, and my album that’s still to come. Everything was made together. We started out recording in the Bay and finished things up back here in New York. With this EP I wanted to provide a more singular woodsy-vibe across the project, with songs flowing right into interludes, then into other songs, to capture that feeling of wandering thoughts on a long walk. Lyrically it plays like a trip to the past, reminiscing on growing up around Sycamore Street, and surrounding town landmarks.

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