Given the amount of competition out there these days, you have to respect any musician who is yet to have a myspace/facebook/virb page showcasing their talents. Elephant Micah is one of these people and it would seem he prefers the old fashioned ‘word of mouth’ method of getting his music heard. He has been going at it now for about 8 years but after I heard the album Alsation Sunlight I still can’t believe that he is not better known and so I am trying my best to get his music heard, by word of mouth of course.
At times he reminds me of some early Experimental Low, early Lo-Fi Smog and the sparseness of J Tillman and perhaps some Elliott Smith too, with the way he layers some tracks so all of those put together has to create something special surely !! Well it does believe you me, this is some of the best music I have heard in my life. If still available I want to get a hold of the album ‘and the loud guitars’ as there is a song on there called ‘Nobody Knows Rosie’ which I just love, got a Bonnie Prince Billy thing going on in that one.
But it’s quite difficult to explain what kind of music Elephant Micah makes because there is so much in there, Country,folk,rock,lo-fi,experimental. These days it would probably get classified as Americana but it doesn’t really matter because what you get at the end of the day is an extremely gifted songwriter who deserves to heard by a much bigger audience.
Elephant Micah has Granted YCD an exclusive interview and also has kindly supplied a couple of tracks for your listening/download pleasure which I am sure you will enjoy.
Please, out of all the artists I’ve written about so far, I would urge you to support this real independant musician who pretty much does everything himself and if you really want to support Elephant Micah then please buy his records and go and see him live. All links to his music are provided in the interview below.
This man just simply has to be heard, please do so.
YCD – So firstly, could you please tell us who you are and where you are from?
EM – My name is Joe, and I’m from southern Indiana, near Louisville, Kentucky.
YCD – Ok, might as well ask you now, promoting anything right now or recently released anything?
EM – The only promotion happening around Elephant Micah is by word-of-mouth. For the time being, I hope the music will speak for itself, and that listeners will let each other know about it through outlets like this blog.
In terms of what I’ve released recently, there are a couple of new discs. The first is a full-length CD called Hindu Windmills, and the second is a small edition hand-packaged mini CDR titled Alsatian Sunlight. Both are kind of sparse, “singer-songwriter” affairs.
YCD – So where can we get a hold of this?
EM – I have a sub-website called the Luddite Rural Recording Cooperative. I sell my music there as well as a lot of other people’s self-releases. Here’s the link: www.lrrc.elephantmicah.com. I try to make this stuff available through other mailorders as well. (Time-Lag, Boa Melody Bar, Norman Records, and Fusetron each carry some Elephant Micah titles.)
YCD – I think some of your music reminds me of the likes of Low and even some early Smog. Do you think this is a fair comment?
EM – ’m not an expert on either of those bands. It’s probably a comparison worth thinking about though. Maybe you’re responding to the subdued singing style. I can identify with their vocal sounds. They seem quiet but not breathy… not restrained sounding. So I wouldn’t mind being in that school of singers, as opposed to the whisperers or the belters.
YCD – After speaking with you before you mentioned you had played in my hometown of Brighton in the U.K, Firstly what do you remember of Brighton and Secondly, are you planning on touring again soon anywhere in the world?
EM – The show promoter took me on the Crazy Mouse rollercoaster. It was excellent.
A few years later, I was surprised to see an identical Crazy Mouse at the Kentucky State Fair. Anyway, it’s not the same without the sense that you might be plunged into the ocean.
I’ve done lots of tours over the years, almost completely on a do-it-yourself basis. I’m less tolerant of it now—I prefer either to have an audience or to be paid. At least one or the other. These things are hard to come by on self-booked tours. So, it’s hard to find the right opportunities to “gig,” as you say in England. I’m always on the lookout, though.
YCD – If there is one song you could steal and claim it as your own for ever which one would you choose and why?
EM – Well, not literally.
I keep thinking about Jackson Browne’s “Before the Deluge,” though. It never ceases to speak to this post-back-to-the-land existence.
Plus, it rocks.
YCD – With so many new genres cropping up all the time now how would you best describe your music?
Are new genres cropping up, or is it just new genre names? I honestly don’t know. But I’d say that the way we are subdividing and sub-subdividing music has a lot more to do with extra-musical social signals than actual sound values. Basically, we “package” music to create the experience of distinctiveness whether or not the music is substantially distinctive.
Hopefully what makes my music distinctive is not its genre or style but its content and meaning.
Maybe if I had to invent a classification for Elephant Micah I’d do so by grafting “recordist” onto the old singer-songwriter designation. The self-recording process is a major part of what’s made Elephant Micah what it is, so maybe I can call it recordist-singer-songwriter music.
YCD – What are your hopes and fears for you in the future, musically?
EM – I’d like to make Elephant Micah a viable listener supported entity. I’m thrilled by the enthusiastic response to my music over the past eight years, but it remains a struggle to record, release, and distribute the recordings effectively. Things are moving at a snail’s pace, but I hope that the merits of the music will continue to attract people in spite of its low media visibility. I also have to hope that new listeners will recognize Elephant Micah as dependent on grassroots support, and will take an active personal interest in contributing through buying recordings or donating for downloaded music, as well as through spreading the word about my music to other music fans.
YCD – Finally, I notice you don’t have a myspace page yet you have released quite a lot of stuff. Is this because like me, you find it’s no longer a platform for new music and has been hijacked by the big music companies and their artists or is it just because you can’t be bothered?
EM – I just really can’t stand the word “myspace.”