[Single Review] Heroes & Villains by Brisbane Based Elbury

Firstly, let’s start with meeting Brisbane based Folk Rockers Elbury – Edward Buckridge (Guitar/Vocals), Michael Luck (Guitar/Vocals), Tam Hutchison (Drums/Vocals), Luke Mulhare (Bass/Vocals), Brooke Austen (Keyboards/Vocals).

On the music scene since 2015 Elbury are no strangers to releases having already released ‘Demasquerade’ (EP) in 2015 and the album ‘Haunting Ground’ in 2017. In between both those releases they’ve dabbled in a few single releases and to date the most successful of those being ‘Whispers’ (released in 2019) which picked up #3 spot in the 4ZZZ Hot 100.

What’s also unique about Elbury is that they share lead vocal roles – Yep! All five of them take turns across different compositions to champion the music not to mention they are all very accomplished instrumentalists.

Elbury describe their sound as:

Blending lyrical folk with hints of swing, jazz and blues, Elbury work to bring thought-provoking songs to an audience who are appreciative of strong melodies and warm guitar arrangements. Elbury combine intricate finger-picking, deep bass grooves, considered arrangements and plaintive harmonies in a heartfelt performance which has brought forth both stunned silence and rousing applause from listeners.

Heroes & Villains (available now) is the first single from their upcoming album (release eta Mid- 2021). Elbury explain it as being inspired by – “those most-tawdry of reality TV offerings – the Bachelor and the Bachelorette – Heroes &Villians is about the rules and roles of the courtship game and how it might look from the other side”.

The band produced an official video to accompany ‘Heroes & Villains‘ under the guidance of Patrick Delaney who directed and starring Talia Downs, Daniel Hutton and Elbury. The video was released in March of 2021. (See here)

Having had a listen, what can I tell you? Read on…

‘Heroes & Villains’ is an indulgent, wistful, and hauntingly beautiful ride that oozes nostalgia and charm despite the lyrics reflecting on societal ‘Rules, Regulations and Expectations’! For the ‘old soul’ this track will be a familiar experience for those on the younger side a new and possibly refreshing one.

Buckridge at the helm caresses the lyrics within a dreamy landscape of instrumentation. His vocals are lofty, soft in timbre and texture and combined with the harmonies provided make for a surreal and sentimental listening experience.

Musicianship is a key factor within the delivery. It’s clean, clear, purposeful and obviously born from talented song writers and artists. Layer over layer of quality incidentals and focus points making ‘Heroes & Villains’ a well-rounded track.

At the 2:50 mark there’s an instrumental interlude whereby Luck engages us with the gentlest manipulation of strings and guides us effortlessly into the next side of the story. There’s distortion but it’s kept in check and not unruly. I enjoyed the endearment flowing forth from his playing, it was a statement yet didn’t break ranks or disconnect one from the track.

The video was shot in a great location (Morningside School of Arts in Brisbane) and the production perfectly accompanied the context of the ‘Heroes & Villains‘ story. It’s not flashy or overdone and the nostalgic feel is upheld. If you choose to view the video you’ll feel it right there in your heart, you’ll feel the angst and the anxiousness of the main characters and know it well.

Overall…

Mainstream has been stuck in the same place for so long now with just a few little glimpses of change across the years but none more so than right now when change has been forced upon us all. Now is the time for all those bands who’ve been sitting in the wings to extend themselves and be seen and heard.

Elbury have this potential with ‘Heroes &Villains’. They have a subtle yet rich full flavour with this track and an endearing quality overall. With the right publicity and support Elbury with ‘Heroes & Villains’ and their ‘Folk Rock’ stylings could just give mainstream listeners a jolt they didn’t even know they needed.

There’s nothing pretentious, overbearing or unlikeable about ‘Heroes & Villains’ – you just have to be willing to scale back the amplification and frequency and soak in a simplistic, agreeable, misty-eyed ambience.

If I had to provide you with a mainstream artist to compare, I’d probably look at Angus and Julia Stone and yet I feel that’s unfair to Elbury who have their own signature sound and presence which they can carry themselves upon without the need for comparison really.

 I’m super keen to hear the whole LP when it arrives.

Follow Elbury Here

Bandcamp | YouTube | Spotify

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s