One of the most impossibly gorgeous records I've heard thus far this year, Elva's debut album Winter Sun came out yesterday, heralding the Spring that is belatedly showing its face outside my window. A duo essentially, and also a couple, Allo Darlin's Elizabeth Morris and Ola Innset of Making Marks.
Sometimes the location where a record is made is utterly key to the way it sounds and such is the case here. Recorded in an old school house in the Swedish forest during moose hunting season in Autumn of last year, Winter Sun utterly nails the pastoral beauty conjured up by that idea.
There's also an enormously strong sense of love of others radiating from the record. On Harbour in the Storm, in some sense the centrepiece of the album, Morris sings, 'You know, you're more precious than gold. And I'll be your harbour in the storm.' It's difficult to convey how beautifully that comes across in words alone, I'd suggest you listen to the song itself and experience it for yourself.
Morris and Insett pass the vocal baton from one to the other over the course of the album. It's Indie in the broadest sense but what I really love about the record is that it defies the need for categories or comparison points. It stands in its own place. The recurrent reference point is the passing of the seasons but also what remains the same. The constancy of love.
A record of enormous optimism and positivity, Winter Sun is an album to cherish. A record released on Good Friday made Friday feel good for me. This may not achieve the full recognition it deserves critically or commercially but it's already one of my favourite records of 2019.