“You know we pass from death to life, because we love each other.” sings South Carolina native Mat Cothran on Elvis Depressedly’s lethargic ballad ‘Thou Shall Not Murder’. Such a cutting introduction to the ethanolic track not only serves to highlight the honest and bare atmosphere that colours the evening, but the Coma Cinema kid’s attraction to the kind of thought balloons that are saved for days end – when the weather changes and the minutes hang high. Joined by drummer, vocalist and co-Depressedly Delaney Mills, Cothran openly explores the twilight that lives between euphoric devotion and melancholic recollection with quiet confidence as slow-life sets in and the same stillness that fills Elvis Depressedly’s world meets Bournemouth’s infamous music venue, The Winchester.
“Getting off on death/crashing Heaven’s trash.” is delivered with cool detachment on the beautifully downtrodden ‘Weird Honey’, but not before Cothran addresses his love for the jangle-pop of South Coast support act Exam Season, who’s live debut triggers the prolific story teller to speak of his first show and how his legitimacy as a 16 year-old “rock and roll star” was questioned when the only thing accompanying his acoustic finger-picking was an old drum machine. It would seem that regardless of expanding to a full band set-up following all kinds of musical endeavours between that fateful meeting with a room full of angry hicks expecting some “real music” and tonight’s set, effortless intimacy and understated charm has followed Cothran from that first encounter with an audience.
Intensity not only permeates Cothran’s words, but bleeds into his playing, as a simple reaction between foot and effects-pedal sends his guitar into the depths of the void and back again – warping the space found between Mills’ solid, fatigue-ridden performance on the disorientating ‘Up In The Air’. However, between the bruises, optimism is always found. Regret and disappointment fills New Alhambra track ‘Big Break’, but the propelling nature of the song evokes shimmering nostalgia for a time that was never mine – full of youthful optimism, lonely exploration and seemingly endless suburban life. If the evening has taught us anything, it’s that incredible things can be sourced from the darker side of experience, and what the band offers their audience by inviting them to step into such a vivid and fully realised depiction of small-town America is worth its weight in gold.
This Elvis Depressedly article was written by James Musker, a GIGsoup contributor. Photo Credit : Luke Wilson / co – TRNS Records