James Elkington is set to release his debut solo record, Wintres Woma, on June 30th viaParadise of Bachelors. After presenting debut single, “Make It Up,” the artist The FADER has dubbed the “guitar king” now shares “Wading The Vapors,” a track that recounts one of those memories so distant that it has ceased to feel like it really happened. The song showcases an astounding solo from cellist and composer Tomeka Reid.
The village I come from is mostly hills and pubs. As teenagers, my friends and I would climb the hills and cycle through these pubs in the span of a couple of weeks. One place lay at the other end of a half-wild, unlit area of woods called “the common,” an area populated nightly by juvenile glue-sniffers and middle-aged dog-walkers. The drunken walks back from this pub as the fog rolled in over the common were weird and unsettling in the best way, and I tried to pull all of that into “Wading The Vapors.”
Songwriter and guitarist Elkington (an Englishman living in Chicago) is an inveterate collaborator who has toured, recorded, and/or collaborated with Jeff Tweedy, Richard Thompson, Steve Gunn, Joan Shelley and most recently Tortoise, amongst others. His assured debut, Wintres Woma—Old English for “the sound of winter”— draws from British folk, avant-rock, and jazz traditions alike. The title resonates in the icy limpidity of the arrangements, the snowy tumble of guitars and strings, and with his gnawing consideration of how much cultural upbringing can bring to bear on one’s own creativity. Many of the album’s lyrics contend with the continuing strangeness of living in a different country. Recorded at Wilco’s Loft, it’s baroquely detailed and beautifully constructed, featuring both Elkington’s baritone vocals and some of Chicago’s finest musicians.
Listen to “Wading The Vapors” –
James Elkington Tour Dates:
Thu. July 27 – Santa Ana, CA @ Constellation Room w/ Steve Gunn, Heron Oblivion
Sat. July 29 – Los Angeles, CA @ The Getty – Saturdays Off the 405 w/ Steve Gunn
Sun. July 30 – San Diego, CA @ The Space Bar w/ Steve Gunn, Heron Oblivion
Fri. Aug. 4 – Seattle, WA @ Tractor Tavern w/ Steve Gunn