Ed Harcourt Elephant's Graveyard
August 8th sees the release of Ed Harcourtís new album, ELEPHANTíS GRAVEYARD, only available on download. Itís a collection of 28 deleted B sides, unreleased stuff and other interesting bits and bobs spanning his career from 2000 Ė 2005, all nicely chronologically packaged for your convenience.
The lad himself has a very strange mind. Some of his songs read like Tim Burton childhood nightmares; falling down a well and finding a gate to a freaky scary dimension, a lad getting lost in the woods, coming back years later to find his own tombstone. Smashing!
Some of the songs sound rather jolly, WEARY AND BLEARY EYED for instance. Itís got gypsy violins to a floaty waltz backdrop, he sounds nicely like Colin Blunstone. It still has the main character wanting to shoot the twittering birdies with his shotgun. There are so many varied and different styles on here it beggars belief that itís all the same bloke and some chums. LITTLE SILVER BULLET sounds like the current line up of the Albion Band doing a twisted take on Credence's BAD MOON RISING.
He seems to write songs like his life depended on it, putting everything into them, telling little gothic stories with characters from a Clive Barker/Ian Banks scribble book. Itís all terribly important to him. The musicality is flawless whether itís trumpet driven jazz interspersed with distorted guitars and serious growls (the bumble bees are great!), nailed together with a marching band straight out of LIVE AND LET DIE to the straight wonderfully listenable ballad form of WHEN AMERICANS COME TO LONDON. Then thereís the out and out rock of ALLIGATOR BOY which seriously kicks bottom. Itís all mixed up nicely, well chosen tracks, nice balance and everything. It gets better on each listening.
Harcourt is a truly unique talent. For my money, he outstrips the likes of Joseph Arthur, a mere pretender to Edís crown. He donít cut it. Edís long line of glittering accolades are richly deserved and Iím sure his mantle piece isnít finished with yet. The strength of his songs, his talent for lyrics surely means heís got many more tricks about his person.
The album is available to download from his site. You have the choice of having all of it or taking it in single bites. A damned good idea if you just want to stretch out a tentative tentacle into Edís unusual little world. You can even grab the cover, from the hand of the artist himself.