LP released: May 22, 2020
Maybe you have a friend or two who manages to succeed at doing the things they lay out for themselves to do. They're good to have-if you're not a total sociopath, your friend's successes will instill joy and satisfaction in you, and you might find that your friend inspires you to labor harder and more lovingly in your own involvements. (This of course best functions symbiotically, and friends will pull each other along the lumpy bumpy road of life and work like those plastic monkeys in the barrel with the interlocking arms. This fact is immaterial to this writing.) James Elkington is a friend of mine, and I have long enjoyed and indeed found satisfaction from witnessing the juicy fruits of his successful labors. Meticulously planned and quickly tracked (the Elkingtonian way), Ever Roving Eye includes Wintres Woma alumni Nick Macri (James' longtime bass colleague) and Macie Stewart (violin), plus new recruits Lia Kohl (cello), Spencer Tweedy (drums), The Weather Station's Tamara Lindeman (vocals), and the prolific Paul Von Mertens (Brian Wilson) on woodwinds. Where the first record was more firmly situated in the sonic tradition of England's more interesting 1970s folk revivalists, Eye engages in a broader wrassle, roping in echoes of British library musics, horror-film soundtracks, demure psychedelia, and more rocking elements of folk-rock. The result is a record even more elaborate, shrewd, thoughtful and confessional than its predecessor.