Band of the Day

2012.05.10

Elliott Brood

A down home Canadian roots three-piece plugs in for electric domination
If I get old I'm living easy, find a nice old country home, let the land do what she wants to, leave her wild and overgrown.
lyrics from If I Get Old

Hailing from Toronto, Canada the three-piece folk collective known as Elliott BROOD has been making music together since 2002. Comprised of Mark Sasso (Vocals, Guitar, Banjo, Harmonica, Ukulele), Casey Laforet (Guitar, Vocals, Bass Pedals, Keys, Ukulele), and Stephen Pitkin (Percussion, Sampler, Vocals) the group plays a style of music described as “death country” or “revival music”. The group's first EP Tin Type was released in 2004 on the independent music label Weewerk. The very next year, the trio debuted their first full length album Ambassador, this time on Six Shooter Records. The album picked up critical praise as well as a nomination for a Juno award. Mountain Meadows, the band's second album, was released in 2008. In 2011 the group joined Paper Bag Records and released their third album Days Into Years, which reached #1 in the folk/roots/blues NCRA charts.

Canadian folk and roots rock troubadours Elliott BROOD have made a name for themselves through acoustic foot stompers, dusty, passionate slices of life rendered through banjo and guitar. Their third full-length, and most recent release, Days Into Years sees the group plugging in for the first time, and exiting the back porch for the main stage. They mix crunchy kernels of rock into their sound while retaining the rollicking, loose-cannon roots feel of their earlier work.

There's no one named Elliott BROOD in the band, the Toronto based three-piece consists of Mark Sasso, Casey Laforet and Stephen Pitkin. The seeds for Days Into Years were planted when the band had a chance to explore World War I cemeteries while on tour in France and Belgium and were struck by the tragedy of seeing so many graves -many of them filled by fellow Canadians. Dark themes do of course appear throughout the album, but Elliott BROOD balances it with plenty of celebration of life. “If I Get Old” pairs one of the album's most memorable vocal melodies with big, ringing electric guitar and lyrics that imagine life if after war “If I get old I'm living easy/find a nice old country home.” First single “Northern Air” is probably the album's finest moment. Getting back to the band's roots of emotive acoustic guitar and plinking banjo, “Northern Air” celebrates the redemptive powers of nature and the need to reflect. Sasso sings “watch the sunrise/light a little fire/watch the smoky lines cut between the pines/the pines and the darkness in our mind.” Its earnest simplicity perfectly reflects the subject matter, meditative country melodies flecked with yearning.

The band skillfully showcases their new-found big electric sound throughout the album, interspersing it with the down home acoustic sound of their past. Combine the two together, and you've got the most compelling album of the Canadian band's career.