Keeping in line with the understated yet substantial folk of their debut album, Great Elk have returned with “Music is Better Than Life”. Focused around the song’s heartbreaking, purposeful vocal delivery, the instrumentation is kept simple — extended, deep synth chords surround bluesy slide guitar, while punctuated tom and snare hits provide an anchor. The song seems to mimic the tranquility of the Oregon Cost Range, where it was partially written, and the Hudson Valley, home to the band’s most recent recording studio in Woodstock.
Their second LP, Star Stuff, set for release at the end of this month, represents 18 months of recording, and that process is definitely present in the patient, unwavering music. Be sure to check out the full album on June 30, and catch Great Elk when they perform at Knitting Factory in Brooklyn on July 1.