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.