David R. Elliott’s Sunshine: Over Seven Years in The Making
For someone who’s used to producing his works in one fell swoop, David R. Elliott’s newest album, Sunshine, is just the opposite of that. Sunshine spans over seven years of Elliott’s life and took longer to produce because it wasn’t born of one specific aesthetic. The 26 year-old Saint John native says it unexpectedly came together as a true picture of his music up until now.
“I got to go back and look at old songs that have stuck around for whatever reason, cherry pick the best things about them and then spend a bunch of time making them the best that they can be. I’m doing what I couldn’t do then and finishing the idea,” he says.
The album is built around ‘Rush‘ and ‘Real Love‘, two songs that, unbeknownst to Elliott would be the chickens that came before the egg which is Sunshine. They were two of many unfinished works stemming from years of albums passed and they needed a home – a good home.
“They’re kind of their own entity. I wanted to make something that is good enough that those two songs could exist on it without the rest of the album being a waste of time,” says Elliott over the phone from his Halifax apartment.
‘Rush’ coaxes you in with a slow and honest sound. Elliott has been playing the song for years and says this is what makes the song. If it had been played by two guitarists one week, it’d have only one guitar the next. A little rhythm section switch up here, some different vocals there.
It’s how he came came to do the song “as simply as possible, just let the vocal-related stuff happen,” he says. For some, ‘Rush‘ is cathartic, for others, melancholic. But for Elliott, ‘Rush‘ is just a love song – one that falls in line with the more raw aspect of Sunshine compared to previous albums like Rearrange.
“Sunshine is a part of me that really likes feedback and weird ridiculous noise and shitty tape machines, stuff like that.”
Being raised in the coastal maritime city has had a huge hand in Elliott’s musical career from early on. New Brunswick is a hotbed for ridiculously talented, kitchen-playing folk-music artists of every shape and size. It comes as no surprise that many of these artists are a part of Sunshine.
Nick Laugher has been Elliott’s “right hand man” throughout Sunshine’s creation along with Adam Mowery on bass and vocal arrangements. Other artists including Jordan Murphy and Evan Matthews have been a huge part of the process, with Charles Austin engineering the technical side from Echo Chamber studios in Halifax. The list goes on.
Elliott is a self-proclaimed musical nerd who relishes in the mild chaos that comes with never knowing how a project will turn out.
“The worry is its going to be this picture of something else – the goal is to almost fail. You reach for this idea and you hope you land somewhere else. I think that’s how you make interesting records.”
Elliott says there’s no separation between him and his music.
“We have this idea of music being this magical mysterious thing. think it is magical, but it’s still in my opinion a trade that you learn,” he says.
He’s a self-proclaimed music nerd who’s constantly on the clock, even while doing other things – like working a busy day job. His back burner is forever simmering which usually spells potential for something good in the near future, like a September tour. Even though it feels like two full-time jobs, Elliott wants only to get better and play more. But his true goal lies in embodying that humble maritime confidence and translating it into something others can really like or at the least, relate to.
“The more people that are listening to you the more power you have to help people in little tiny ways.”
Here are dates for David R. Elliott’s upcoming tour.
09/03 Taco Pica, Saint John, NB
09/04 Esquire Pub, Moncton, NB w/ Lester Slade
09/09 Bar a Pitons, Saguenay, QC
09/10 Raw Sugar, Ottawa, ON
09/11 House Show, Guelph, ON
09/12 The Garnet, Peterborough, ON
09/13 Imperial Pub, Toronto, ON
09/16 Homegrown Hamilton, Hamilton, ON
09/17 Bovine Sex Club, Toronto, ON
09/18-20 Pop Montreal, Montreal, QC
09/23 Bateau de Nuit, Quebec City, QC
09/24 The Capital Complex, Fredericton, NB w/ Jane Blanchard, Find the Others
09/25 The Company House, Halifax, NS
09/26 TBA, Sackville, NB w/ Construction & Destruction