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Ambassador

Elliott BROOD

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Album Review

Imagine the early Palace Brothers playing with My Morning Jacket's chops and you start to get an idea of what to expect from Canadian three-piece Elliott Brood. Playing what they like to describe as "death country," Elliott Brood are, like Palace, obsessed with the dark corners of this life — alcohol, violence, busted love affairs, family strife, the sadder burdens of history — but what sometimes seemed like a dramatic affectation coming from Will Oldham sounds like a harsh but honest vision of the world as seen by lyricist and lead singer Mark Sasso. Sasso and his compatriots Casey Laforet and Steve Pitkin are able to conjure up a sound that references the past without being bound to it, as the washes of electronic and found noises mingle with their acoustic guitars and banjos in a manner that's at once spare and full-bodied. And for all the brooding and sadness in Elliott Brood's music, Ambassador is an album that offers a glimmer of hope over the horizon, or at least the promise of redemption; this band isn't marketing gloom for its own sake, but offering its own take on a world where the light must struggle very hard to shine. Elliott Brood's first full-length album is an impressive achievement, and certainly one of the most striking debuts of 2005.

Biography

Formed: 2002 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Canadian alt-folk/country group Elliott Brood formed in 2002 based around the songwriting of Windsor, Ontario natives Mark Sasso and Casey Laforet. Inspired by their mutual admiration for Neil Young, the Band, and the Flying Burrito Brothers, the two friends began playing together as a duo in Toronto. During one of their earliest shows, they befriended soundman Stephen Pitkin, who became involved first as their producer and later as their full-time percussionist. Adopting a rural-themed aesthetic,...
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Ambassador, Elliott BROOD
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