Check out the atmospheric video for ‘Bleed’ from Elliot C. Way, a tale of a failing relationship and unravelling love. He explains: “The song is a tragic romance gone awry. It is a love lost. An empty heart and an empty home. There is a desperate plea to understand the why, and the relationship between the ones that give and the ones that take in this world.” Way’s weary vocal is full of resignation as he delivers clever lines like: “If my heart was a bottle, would you drink the last swallow?” Though gritty, Way’s soulful voice is also vulnerable and open. Matt Kelly’s keys and pedal steel and Kendel Carson’s fiddle add texture and sorrowful depth to the song and it’s all underpinned by Erik P.H. Nielsen’s melodic, rhythmic bass. In the video, Way moves and sways in silhouette as the music swings and flows and we see a series of symbolic endings: he is shot in the heart, poisoned with an apple and has his throat cut with a razor. It’s tongue-in-cheek but this is undoubtedly doomed love.
The single is released on a new boutique Americana record label based in Vancouver called The North Country Collective; find out more here. The label was set up by a group of artists, including the excellent songwriter Bob Sumner, who also makes an appearance as a cowboy in the video. Just before the pandemic made everything grind to a halt, Way and his team of talented players, gathered at his then-home, a shack on a hill in farming country around his hometown of Langley. He called that place Old Man Mountain and, for a few days, it was transformed into a recording studio where a collection of his personal and introspective reflections, became folk and country songs. Way’s image is a throwback to the 1970s and his music also takes us back to that era although he manages that clever trick of sounding familiar and yet new and fresh at the same time. For fuzzy guitar and the hint of something cosmic, check this out.