feature: talkin' hope, homeruns, among other things with these united states' jesse elliott
    • THURSDAY, MARCH 27, 2008

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    Sifting through email messages from Jesse Elliott feels a little bit like hopping a high speed hot rod at midnight. Your driver? Why they’re clouded in mystery…a dark silhouette seated steady at the wheel. All that makes sense is this ride is wild and unpredictable. The kind those hairpin curves your twisting ‘round have never seen before. Oh, and one more thing. The headlights…they don’t really work. They just kind of flash on every now and then, illuminating just enough of the razor’s edge you’re free wheeling. And yet, somehow, you survive…somehow you hop off that hot rod in the end, better for having braved the journey.

    It’s not a surprising metaphor Elliott’s correspondences have lead me to. These United States’ – the DC band he both founded and fronts – recently released album A Picture of the Three of Us at the Gate To The Garden Of Eden is as articulate and compelling a listen as any that have come before it this year. Yet Elliott plays bit of a mad man on paper. Stringing behemoth strings of line and lyric together, this gifted wordsmith appears chaotic with his pen. But seasoned strokes of neo psych folk provide a rather elegant sound scape; one that let’s listeners climb on in and pick apart the fever pitched poetics. Once there, themes of love, rebellion, and hope ultimately reveal an artist vested in an obvious, yet deep rooted, set of morals and ideals. So too do the answers that follow. KEEP READING - David Pitz

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