Elephant Micah “Genericana” (Western Vinyl 2018)

As has been said many times before Americana is a broad church and thus many musical styles are accepted inside and indeed they add to its rich diversity. However, it is a challenge to consider this particular work part of the Americana genre whatever way you look at it. The PR provided with this music makes reference to the first track ‘Surf A’ as “a virtual holiday destination, where soft waves of AM static crash and synthetic gulls call to a hazy sun. A skeleton-thin drum loop jogs by but these lazy synth tones are just working on their tan. And then, just as the soundscape approaches maximum repose, a gnarly guitar band busts into the mix like an odd choice by a half-baked algorithm.” Make of that what you will but listening to the track itself will fail to make the situation much clearer.

In essence, it is a synthesised version of waves crashing onto the shore with some musing by the artist, real name Joseph O’Connell from the Midwest USA, on what he would be if he were somebody else. The six tracks here are all in the same vein, three of them being very similar to each other to the extent that it is difficult to tell much difference between them. However, ‘Fire A’ has a nice guitar riff in the style of George Harrison playing the sitar and ‘Life B’ is an interesting reflection on what it takes to be accepted as an artist. If synthesisers and bass loops are your thing then this record will possibly pique your interest, but otherwise it is not one to ignite your Americana soul.

Author: Michael Farley

Living in North London allows me access to many great music venues so I can get to see as many Americana and Bluegrass (yes I love Bluegrass!) acts as I can. My other passion is football and I follow the North London team with the Cockerel as it's badge. Thankfully I have a fantastic wife who shares these obsessions or else I would probably be single by now!

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