New Jersey Art-Rock collective Elk City announces that they will release their seventh album ‘Undertow’ on September 22. Ahead of that, they present the voluminous consciousness-building lead track ‘Strong (You’re Not Alone)’ a swirling Neo-Psychedelic Folk song baked in cult obsessiveness.
Watch the official video through the YouTube player below:
Recorded, mixed and mastered by renowned producer Ray Ketchem (Guided By Voices, Luna, Gramercy Arms), ‘Undertow’ will be released via Montclair, NJ-based Magic Door Record Label, co-founded by Guided by Voices‘ Kevin March with Ketchem and artist Renée LoBue.
Like their latest ‘Above the Water’ LP, this record is inspired by the band’s love of documentaries like ‘The Source Family’ and ‘Wild, Wild Country’ – films that explore the allure of cults and extreme alternative lifestyles.
It sure is tempting to join a cult. To drop whatever it is we do over and over and just plain start over, with a fresh sense of community and identity and a new way to love and live and be in this world a whole other way. Cult-life can’t be any crazier than how we’re doing it now, in this backwards, modern world in which we find ourselves. So… it could be time to X out of this celestial Zoom, peel off the athleisure wear and slap on a space tunic that says, ‘Hey, I’ve found something else, and this is my new family now and they can give me inner peace and Heaven on Earth in exchange for letting go of everything I thought I was and society expects me to be’.
Let’s do it.
This is the pull of ‘Undertow’, sucking you into a different kind of record from the opening title track. Peculiar pop constructs built of rare materials, found only in the wilds behind Magic Door Recording Studio in Montclair, NJ. which legendary studio designer George Augspurger helped transform from a cavernous warehouse into a freeform studio where vintage microphones, modern studio gear, and bespoke sound tuning elevate and inspire.
This is where Elk City’s founding members, Renée LoBue and Ray Ketchem, along with Luna’s Sean Eden, Richard Baluyut (Versus) and Chris Robertson (Psychedelic Furs side project Feed, Punch Havana) have meticulously built this record and this band a whole other way. Even after seven albums, Elk City are still deliberately hard to define, still seekers, unafraid to shed this life and lead the listener on a journey to new sounds and feelings… Welcome to Elk City.
“’Strong (You’re Not Alone)’ just may be the highest of heights we’ve reached as songwriting collaborators. A ‘non-single’ single, unapologetically present in its dream catcher-waving vibe. The least pop of pop songs on our upcoming Undertow LP, yet here it is, served up first: Sprawling, moody, nonsensical, captivating, and much like Rob Zombie sang: More Human than Human. Baby steps in believing in oneself. “Ooh, you never know what you’re made of till you climb the top.” Let this one guide you, heal you, inspire you, strengthen you. Hacky sacks optional. Also: It’s way cheaper than therapy,” says Renee LoBue.
Ray Ketchem adds, “Strong (You’re Not Alone)” is an example, where we let the song forge our path. We observe, listen and follow where it leads, but we relinquish control in order to open the channels within ourselves.”
As of July 19, ‘Strong (You’re Not Alone)’ will be available across fine digital outlets, including Apple Music, Spotify and Bandcamp. , where the full ‘Undertow’ album (out September 22) may also be pre-ordered.
Renee LoBue / Lead Vocals, Percussion
Chris Robertson / Guitars, Backing Vocals
Ray Ketchem / Drums, Percussion, Synths, Sounds
Sean Eden / Guitars
Richard Baluyut / Bass, Synths, Backing Vocals