Reviews

Elephant Micah
Genericana

(Western Vinyl)

7/10

Opening with the hiss of static, the call of gulls and the wash of digital surf, ‘Genericana’, the thirteenth album from songwriter and folklorist Joseph O’Connell under his Elephant Micah name – further explores how we come from influences and what we sound like.

Created from ‘devalued or discarded’ gear, the record twists the sound of Americana as it finds new ways of interacting with instruments. From a homemade synth to a three-headed tape deck standing in as a “poor man’s space echo”, ‘Genericana’ filters an avant-garde art rock vibe through strata of folk, country, experimental songwriting, dub and ambient trances.

Across the six tracks here (all called ‘Surf’, ‘Fire’ or ‘Life’), shades of dark and light are cast as recurring melodic and lyrical motifs draw you further in. Arthur Russell to Joni Mitchell are pegged as the folk and production influences but in the vocals and rhythm the more recent sound of Simone Felice echoes, as does the expansive and atmospheric ambience of Skee Mask in the sparse beats washed in synths.

This is an album that imagines where the dust may settle when the current cultural turmoil passes. Soothing but unsettling, atmospheric but stark, drawn from digital but with a very human beat – ‘Genericana’ is a deeply evocative album. In looking at where we come from Elephant Micah has also set a course for where they are going.

Support Loud And Quiet from £3 per month and we'll post you our next 9 magazines

As all of us are constantly reminded, it’s getting harder for independent publishers to stay in business, which applies to Loud And Quiet more now than ever, 14 years after we first started printing a magazine that we’ve always given away for free.

Having thought about the best way to support our running costs (the printing and distribution fees, the podcast and production costs etc.) we’d like to ask our readers who really enjoy what we do to subscribe to our next 9 issues over the next 12 months. The cheapest we can afford to do this for works out at £3 per month for UK subscribers, charged yearly.

If that seems like a bit of a punt, you can pay-as-you-go for £4 per month and cancel any time you like. European and world plans are available too, at the lowest rate we can afford.

It’s not just a donation – you’ll receive a physical copy of our magazine through your door and some extra perks detailed on our subscribe page. Digital subscriptions are available worldwide for £15 per year. We hope you consider this a good deal and the best way to keep Loud And Quiet in your life without its content, independence or existence suffering.