Track Premiere: Elena Loper “Blue Canyon”

Photo: Tiffany Tomkinson of Centerpoint Photography

Americana UK is happy to be able to premiere ‘Blue Canyon’ the first single from Elena Loper’s new album ‘Weathervane Whale’ which will be out on May 6th.  It features gently finger picked guitar ands a beautiful vocal that’s a meditation on finding joy, peace, and stillness through loss.  In 2019, Loper released an album with her project Dravus House and toured the Pacific Northwest and California. In the winter of 2020, she took time away from the road to spend with her ailing grandmother. As the pandemic rolled unstoppable across the world, Loper found silver linings in being able to truly rest; she found playing music one of the most healing, centering, and soothing activities during this time of collective fear and loss.

Elena Loper told us about the song and what it means to her:  “’Blue Canyon’ is my attempt to capture, in song, a magical afternoon: I was driving through the hills of the California Coast during the ‘golden hour,’ while on a summertime tour with my Dravus House bandmate. I was nostalgic for this day before it even ended, and set out to write a song about it.  On this day, even though the grass in the hills was dry and dead, just before sunset, the hills took on a glowing aura. After the sun went down, we drove through the hills near the coast at dusk until we reached the canyons that lead down to towns along the Pacific Ocean. There’s something about that post-sunset time anywhere along the West Coast, where mountains and the ocean seem to take on hundreds of shades of the most magnificent blues.  

Earlier that day, we had visited a relative of my bandmates who was not well. I loved connecting with him, and it gave me a poignant gratitude for the ability to pursue playing music and doing what we love. ‘Blue Canyon’ is about feeling incredibly lucky for companionship and friendship- the kind of friendship that sparks admiration, speaks to your soul, and kindles bravery inside yourself you never knew you had.  ‘Blue Canyon’ has a reference to a line from an e. e. cummings poem: “since feeling is first, who pays any attention to the syntax of things”. To me, this line and poem are about pursuing sensation, the spiritual, the intuition, the intangible… as a way to propel you forward in life.

I generally feel so much more comfortable operating in ‘left-brain’ mode – as an analytical writer, working at a library, making spreadsheets, etc. ‘Blue Canyon’ is a reminder to myself to be bold enough to create, and to pursue feeling through my experiences, rather than intellectualizing them. It’s about looking at life holistically, rather than getting bogged down by the details.  It’s also a song of gratitude, of friendship, for my musical partner in my duo project…for all of the wonderful moments we’ve spent together playing shows and taking our music on the road around the PNW and the west coast.  I wanted this song to be the first single I put out under my own name, to honour my bandmate in Dravus House as we pursue solo musical projects for the time being.

About Jonathan Aird 2691 Articles
Sure, I could climb high in a tree, or go to Skye on my holiday. I could be happy. All I really want is the excitement of first hearing The Byrds, the amazement of decades of Dylan's music, or the thrill of seeing a band like The Long Ryders live. That's not much to ask, is it?
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