A sorta-supergroup entity merging the worlds of folk, pop and country (via Sarah Lee [daughter of Arlo/ granddaughter of Woody] Guthrie and her husband/ musical duo partner Johnny Irion) and alternative and hip hop (via San Francisco-based multi-instrumentalist/ production/ remixing duo the Rondo Brothers), U.S. Elevator is one of those ever-fascinating meeting-of-the-minds type of projects where the results could either lean toward being an incredible, and sometimes downright magical, listening experience or an embarrassing hot mess/ epic fail that all parties involved will spend the rest of their respective careers regretting, all of which puts an intimidating amount of pressure on the act’s introductory material.
So it’s all kind of good that the outfit’s debut single, a cover of 80’s prom ballad “All Through The Night” (originally recorded in folksy-rock form by the song’s writer Jules Shear in 1983, but mostly known through Cyndi Lauper’s hit pop-glossed remake released a year later), bears a strong enough first impression to leave us wanting to hear more from them.
Featuring the warm, fragile vocal presence of Guthrie set adrift in an arrangement in which the cold, mechanized churn of a drum machine, haunting flickers of string instruments and wordless, ethereal vocal stamps hovering just beyond her beautifully emphasize both the starry-skied night-time setting and sense of time passing memorably sketched in the song’s “new romance” lyric, Elevator’s “Night” lands as an alluring re-take of an old favorite.
From the band’s new EP, A Valentine.