David R. Elliott – Sam Hill

Artist: David R. Elliott
Album: Sam Hill

Written by: Chiara DiAngelo

I’ve never understood people who say “I don’t listen to/like country music.” It’s one thing to not be into “new country,” it’s another to completely disregard the entire genre because of the watered-down form of it that has gained mainstream popularity on the radio. Because if so, then you would miss out on some incredible musicians that our country in particular has to offer; one of them being the vastly talented David R. Elliott of Saint John, New Brunswick.

On his latest record Sam Hill, seasoned songwriter Elliott goes back to the real traditional roots of alt-country, infusing an almost avant garde experimental quality into it, which results in something captivating and timeless. I will admit that this album was at first daunting and intimidating to review; it took a couple of listens to truly appreciate. At times simple, such as on “The Pull,” with just Elliott’s rich voice and the gentle strumming of his guitar, to complex multi-instrumental experiments like “Whittles,” with nuanced intricacies the album goes in many different sonic directions. What immediately grabbed me though was Elliott’s half-spoken twanged vocals and story-telling lyricism that has a way of drawing the listener into his world.

Another highlight of the album is “Call Me Over,” which captures the foot-stomping, hand-clapping qualities of some of the great classic country-folk songs. Finally, the harmonica on “Come Back to Me,” though it remains in the background for most of the song, is one of my favourite sounds and is an interesting addition against the desperation expressed through the vocals on this closing track.

Released on June 8, Sam Hill is up for download on Elliott’s Bandcamp. With plans to tour the country in July, keep your eye out for tour dates as his live show promises to be something intimate and special.


Categories: Recorded


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