Even though Elephant Revival released its latest offering, These Changing Skies, in 2013, the album was largely conceived before the band had even finished its previous release, 2012’s It’s Alive.
“The vision for this record, musically, has been brewing for a long time,” says Bridget Law, fiddler and singer for the eco-folk quintet. “[With] It’s Alive, we chose songs for that record thinking about what we would save for the next record. So we had a vision for which songs would fit together for this record a couple years before we even made it.”
And despite having a pretty solid idea of what would appear on the next record, great 11th-hour ideas were still welcome.
For instance, the song “Satisfied” was a last-minute addition, Law says. “That’s one I’ve heard people say they have on their playlists,” she adds. “It wasn’t one of the original songs that we knew was going on the record, so it’s nice seeing it being appreciated.”
Whether it’s a Celtic dirge (“Remembering a Beginning”), a sparse Appalachian folk ballad (“The Obvious”) or the sort of echoing Americana that begs to be performed beneath a starry summer sky (“Birds and Stars”), Skies is filled with moments of calm, healing and easygoing grace. According to Law, that’s the entire point.
“Music is medicine for the world,” she says. “Whether it’s dancing or singing along, or if you’re driving and the music becomes part of the tapestry of your experience, it brings a very healing and deep sense of experience to the everyday.”
Joining Revival at WOW Hall will be JT Nero and Allison Russell of American roots band Birds of Chicago. The duo’s sprightly sound, anchored by Nero’s rusty voice and Russell’s silky vocals (as well as banjo, clarinet, ukelele), will be the perfect amuse-bouche for the night.
Elephant Revival plays with Birds of Chicago 8 pm Tuesday, March 4, at WOW Hall; $13 adv., $15 door.