Music News, July 2009

Independent Music Review

Let me begin by saying that I just got my greedy little hands on a copy of Else Kjelstrom's demo album that has been making the rounds on the local radio stations. After being on the top of listener requests for two months strong, I just had to find out what she was about, outside of her single 'Shores of the Empire State'.

And just like the last week's review of Independant Android's new album Virii this is a serious musical document that reveals its gems, only through serious listening. The songs run long, averaging between 10 and 15 minutes each. Therefore I would recommend that the listener play one song at a time, and really get a feel for it, before moving forward.

The album starts out strong with the haunting acoustic track "City of Glass" that I think every New York resident can really pull the meaning out of without needing a microscope. Kjelstrom's lyrics are really soul-snagging, and her siren voice keeps you captivated to every aural treat. By the time you dig into the sog "Fortis" halfway through the album, however, the political tone of Else's music really starts to beat you over the head. But once she's done singing about Presidents and mobsters, you get the last track on this seven track CD, the radio single we've been bombarded by since early June — Shores of the Empire State.

I've had the opportunity of seeing Kjelstrom play on a July 4th show at the Rock Cellar in Greenwich village that played to a packed house. Else's demo album pales in comparison to her live performances, where she is joined by a full band — not the solo acoustic and piano treatment on you've heard on the demo album. It's a textured musical environment that really brings out the moody quality of Else's songwriting. The skilled artistry of longtime Indie scene veteran Erik Wells brings fifteen years of experience and a Rock and Roll sensibility to Else's folkish background.

If you ever get a chance to see Else's performances at the Rock Cellar or the Surly Wench, don't hesitate to, you're in for a treat.

Else Kjelstrom has upcoming shows at the Rock Cellar on July 17th, July 23rd, and July 30th followed by an encore performance at the Surly Wench August 8th and August 9th. Her upcoming album, "Othello" is set to be released by on an independent label this fall.
West Rosen
New Voice Newspaper, July 17 2009

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