Live Log 2023: Elana Low Welcomes The Equinox

While there are inherent elements of ritual in going to see live music, the songs of Elana Low connect to a much deeper strand of power that resides in the most ancient parts of music's DNA. So, when she confessed from the stage of Pete's Candy Store last Tuesday that she had trouble connecting with her creativity during the pandemic, it spoke volumes about what it takes to access that power. But she was also being modest, as she managed to launch New Moon Editorial during that time, which aside from being a creative act in itself, is also a tremendous aid to the creativity of others. 

But for fans of her music, it is to be celebrated that she is returning to full strength and engagement with her muse. There is new music on the way - pre-save Goldest Hour here - and she is expanding her sound world beyond the harmonium to the harp and hurdy gurdy. Speaking of muses, Low invoked the full complement from Greek mythology before welcoming in the equinox and starting her set, perfectly setting the stage what was to come. 

And what came was not only a reminder of what stunned me the first time I heard her - namely "her harmonium and her honeyed, vibrato-free voice" - but the strength and expansiveness of her musical landscape. The set encompassed old favorites like Pollen Path, a centuries-old Norwegian folk song (Heiema of Nykkjen, sung in the original), an Interpol cover, and several new songs that will be on her next EP, Lark, coming later this year. 

When she switched from the harmonium to the harp, spare plucked notes replacing the space-filling undertow, it served to throw the louder instrument into relief and led me to welcome its return. As she stood behind the box-like instrument, her left hand moving the bellows, letting loose that marvelous voice, it was easy to feel at one with the others in the audience lining the walls of the small train-car-like space at Pete's. Time seemed to stop and we were all lost in the music together. 

While an artist like Elana Low, with her old droning instruments and passion for paganism, can seem to belong in a niche, I'm fairly convinced there is a nearly universal appeal to what she does, with its direct line to the very heartbeat of music itself. You only need to hear her to believe. And, as my daughter and I filed out of Pete's back into the Williamsburg night, believe we did.

You may also enjoy:
Live Log 2023: An Eastman Excursion
Live Log 2023: A Thorvaldsdottir Nightcap
Live Log 2023: In Our Daughter's Eyes At Prototype
Record Roundup: American Harvest
Best Of 2018: Three Concerts

No comments:

Post a Comment