LIVE: Elvis Depressedly / TV Girl @ Kamio, Shoreditch

By Sean Littlewood

Elvis Depressedly was¬†born somewhere on the misty mountains of Western North Carolina. Inspired by the¬†modest, southern upbringings of Mathew Lee Cochran and Delaney Mills that were¬†stooped in old-time superstition and religion, the duo¬†are now two sublimely lo-fi records deep into their alliance¬†with Run For Cover.¬†Last¬†year saw¬†an extended re-release of the 2013 EP ‘Holo Pleasures’, but ‘New Alhambra’ – their last release¬†to include new material – will turn two next month.

Considering the mass of material that’s also been released via Bandcamp, the beauty of this¬†European run with electronic duo TV Girl is that it’s impossible to know what to expect each night.¬†A¬†cramped, poorly designed venue, with the stage placed directly next to the entrance,¬†actually¬†makes for the perfect¬†setting tonight. Intimate and unique, much like the music being played, it does the perfect job of cramming everyone together to share the unique vibes of two off-beat, diverse performances.

TV Girl’s listenable mix of indie-pop and electronica¬†instantly closes any¬†gaps between the audience and the stage. Especially when they begin flinging free t-shirts out mid way through their set. Something Mathew Cochran won’t be able to resist doing in an hour or so. TV Girl have also formed a major part of Elvis Depressedly’s ever evolving¬†band on this tour, and tonight seems equally about community and coming together as much as it does about music. With the songs¬†‘Taking What’s Not Yours’ and ‘Cigarettes Out The Window’ from their 2016 release, ‘Who Really Cares’, serving as definite¬†high points, the duo¬†fill the tiny room with more than enough energy for¬†Elvis Depressedly to almost¬†immediately take the stage.

“I look like a retiree in this jacket. Maybe I am,” Cochran teases before soothing into ‘Angel Cum Clean’, hair completely covering his face as¬†he sings “I was taking Xanax, listening to morphine.” The band are¬†louder and heavier than on their intentionally¬†lo-fi recordings, and it¬†brings new dimension to the songs. Experimenting¬†with their parts, pushing and pulling¬†at all the right times, it’s almost¬†as if the songs are being playing exactly how they¬†feel in the precise moment. Taking¬†on an emo/neo-folk full band rendition of the acoustic track ‘Wastes Of Time’, Cochran¬†even¬†takes a second to discuss his home town.”Sure, North Carolina’s got its problems. But how do you fix something that’s broken? You change it from within right?”

Breaking into an¬†interlude that could almost serve as¬†a heavier Nirvana cut, ‘Ease’ takes the energy even¬†further.¬†The strange, spaced out, religious speeches that ironically glued ‘New Alhambra’ together¬†are even present on the backing track, and onsidering Cochran and keyboardist/singer Delaney Mills are the only constant members of this band, they sound like they’ve been refining their sound¬†in some deep south garage somewhere for years. At the mid point we’re graced¬†with¬†a glimpse of a new¬†track that even sounds somehow folky, but tonight is¬†Elvis Depressedly’s time to tear through the high-points of their entire catalogue so far.

Warm, loose and delightfully heavier than ever, this is¬†a band who have reached a real peak coolly,¬†almost casually even,¬†pulling the greatness out of every song they play.¬†¬†Not even a broken guitar strap can stop them during their final song, Cochran somehow just¬†plays it even harder. Crooning¬†the gloomy line “we’re all outta control, we’re all outta our minds”, I wonder if Cochran suspects that, tonight at least,¬†we¬†couldn’t possibly be happier about losing our minds.¬†Hanging from every loose word and every overdriven guitar line, let’s hope¬†they return from those¬†misty mountains of North Carolina again very soon.

SEAN LITTLEWOOD