All artists invite you to enter the world they inhabit.
It was Bruce Springsteen who said that the artist’s job is to make YOU interested in their obsessions. Has Elfin Bow managed that with her delicately crafted debut album? For the most part, yes. Live and in person is where Elfin Bow comes to life. Those gorgeous melodies and delicate vocals are always backed with an aesthetic that draws you in. On record, that’s a harder victory to achieve… but songwriter Elizabeth Anne Jones has managed to capture some beautiful moments on her self-titled first album.
Produced by Gary Edward Jones, tunes such as the standout Grimshaw And The Fingerclaw refuse to give up their secrets immediately and offer music (mandolins, acoustic guitars, flutes) that draws you in for repeated listening. A headphones record? Perhaps. But that would be a disservice to the likes of the dramatic Sweet Jonathan and the gently-lilting The First Red Leaf Of Autumn, both of which could sit easily on daytime Radio 2, for example.
It’s The Wisdom that offers the most potential, however. Drifting in on the kind of finger-picked acoustic guitar melody you hear in your head on those most wide open of summer days, it’s a gem. “Why do we make things so complicated,” asks the singer with crystalline vocal precision over bowed strings, muted horns and heavenly harmonies. The song sounds like a glacial lake and only time will tell if Elfin Bow will have the tunes to glide over it in the future.