LIVE: Elvis Depressedly / Lake Michigan @ Moth Club, London

By Glen Bushell

Some people enjoy their music heavily produced, slick, and perfected. Part of lo-fi duo Elvis Depressedly’s charm is the organic and very real feel that spills out of their records. It sounds like it was written and recorded in bedroom or basement and the minimal approach has made them very relatable, forging a strong connection with the listener. That couldn’t be more apparent as they head to the UK and kick off their first ever tour on our shores at a packed out Moth Club in East London.

Before they hit the stage a sizeable crowd have already gathered to watch tonight’s opener, Lake Michigan. There is a clear appreciation for Chris Marks and his alter-ego who plays a set made up heavily of his most recent release, ‘Gleaming’, however it becomes a little stale as the set progresses. Despite only playing for 30 minutes and Marks undeniable love of iconic miserablist Nick Cave, it eventually sounds more like plagiarism than homage. Perhaps it has more appeal on record than in a live setting as the songs are well constructed, but tonight the anticipation for the headliners overshadowed Lake Michigan.

By the time Elvis Depressedly arrive, Moth Club, albeit a wonderful venue, is not known for its air conditioning. It is like a furnace and filled to breaking point. That doesn’t stop the energy of vocalist/guitarist, Mat Cothran. He pours his soul into ‘Inside You’ and ‘Thou Shalt Not Murder’, reaching deep inside for the notes that spill over the intricate guitar lines. He is backed by Delaney Mills on drums, who also adds rich vocal harmonies to the short and sweet compositions of ‘Pepsi/Coke Suicide’ and what could be deemed their signature anthem, ‘N.M.S.S’.

It is a pleasure getting to hear these songs come to life tonight, and the appreciation that Cothran gives the audience back is a joy to see. He appears visibly moved by the fact they have travelled so far to have such an adoring crowd who sing back every word of ‘Thinning Out’ and ‘Ease’ to him. The addition of live bass to the performance gives the songs a much thicker and warm texture than what they have on record. Reaching back into his days as Coma Cinema they perform a lurching cover of ‘Blissed’ and the walking bassline added to ‘Hotter Sadness’ makes the song even more inviting.

Much of the set comes from ‘New Alhambra’, and the recent reissue of ‘Holo Pleasures/California Dreamin’’, and realistically Elvis Depressedly could have played all night to no objection. With strong songs like drug-addled love story, ‘Angel Cum Clean’, and the self-loathing ‘Weird Honey’, Cothran’s tales demand your attention. On the strength of this tight and fantastic performance, there is no doubt we will be seeing the band back in the UK soon enough.