Album: Deep Water
Label: Self Released
Release Date: 07/15/2016
These here are some murky waters, folks. In what positions itself as the most Flannery O’Connor release of 2016, Elouise’s Deep Water takes us down the garden path of delirium, decay, and macabre imagery – all the while sounding remarkably optimistic. There’s remarkably little fatalism despite the onslaught of gloom and doom Elouise is proselytizing, even in the refreshingly grim cover of the classic “I’ll Fly Away.”
There’s a looming shadow that Elouise threads along ever so carefully, even down to the found photography in the record’s gatefold that makes a fiddle look as menacing as the adjacent photo of a jawbone. It’s never superfluous – the race to her sound of ruination is a slowed mosey. However, Deep Water is markedly vintage – something that inexplicably comes with the territory of instrumentation that leads to ruination.
Deep Water positions Elouise in a way that makes her seem as though she’s been in our musical vernacular since, say, the origins of The Handsome Family. What separates her from the gruesome-obsessed troubadours of the 90’s isn’t just being forced to exist out of a zeitgeist within a zeitgeist. Rather it’s Elouise’s ability to seem as though she loathes the monotony of recording a glum record fixated with antiquated noise. Make no bones about it, she does a fine job in releasing a record that fits the aforementioned criteria – it’s just that she doesn’t seem unnecessarily obsessive in its execution. Kudos to perfectionists with borders.
– Jake Tully