With 2015 proving to be a pretty dark year, it’s safe to say we’re in need of a little escapism. Up step The National front man Matt Berninger and friend Brent Knopf (best known for Menomena and Ramona Falls) with new project EL VY. This debut release provides an absorbing reprieve while never breaking totally free from current pessimisms. Berninger’s storytelling struts through the occasionally unnerving terrain of American suburbia with an illumined eye and wicked tongue, and with the help of Knopf’s pristine and protean arrangements it’s never sounded so good.

‘I’m the Man To Be’ is an angular ego trip with Father John Misty’s primal poetics, while ‘Silent Ivy Hotel’ is a dark Wurlitzer ride of romance that would fit nicely on Timber Timbre’s ‘Hot Dreams’. “Beatles-mania made my mother think the way she does/She always said don’t waste your life wishing everything was, how it was,” Berninger sings on ‘Paul is Alive’. This ain’t no nostalgia trip: timeless, reflective but with its feet firmly in the now.


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