Fresh from their album release party at Petra’s last night, Elonzo Wesley’s “Spec” brushes softly on the senses, offering listeners a chair or grassy knoll to lay on as to look at the night sky and ponder. We’ve all had those moments where the chaos of life seems a bit rough, where all we want to do is pause the program and explore our minds with the open air, or with a friend. Elonzo Wesley’s “Spec” feels much like the calm after, and there’s a comfortable delight in that.
Spec’s self-titled opening track starts off the calm, contemplative tone. Jeremy Davis’s words over the several strings featured in his traveling quartet give the impression that he may as well be speaking with a close companion. We try to often decipher where we came from and where will we be going in our futures, and the few words explore the themes well while smiling at how little we are in the scheme of things, giving us our title in the track.
“Poison Love” calls to the seeming null-reality love gives and takes away once the feeling disappears. Without speaking out against the emotion, the words give a quiet anger to no specific direction, but points at everything. “Is it too much to have it all/Can a lion be tamed?/Can all the world that I won/live inside this old frame?” is telling at our desire to keep all we hold dear, yet as time passes, do we still have those precious moments and feelings? The metaphors are expressive as well as striking, and they follow straight into the next track, “Virginia”, as to more carefully point to a place or lover that some of these thoughts and feelings encircle.
The blending and mixing of the album is thoughtful, like a quiet walk with a head full of woes, the bearer sorting through thoughts while contemplating how to articulate it all. “Traveling Song” stretches through the fatigue and hopes for the end of the journey, stating within that “This is not a traveling song/It’s a prayer to get me home”. “Dreams (Re:Texas)” follows again with what may be personal for Jeremy and company in their aspirations, labeling the several cities around the country, the overflow of traveling to each.
The strongest track stands with “Emanuel”, a recall of the Charleston massacre where 9 men and women were gunned down. With each refrain of “9 people dead in the church by the sea”, a short pause enters as to signify the weight of the subject. The line “Even Jesus can’t believe it” hits the quiet outrage of the horror that occurred, that from an on-looker’s point-of-view, there’s just no prediction that can stall events like this.
With each of the members in his band, comprising of Taylor Winchester (mandolin), Dennis Contreras (bass), and Alicia Driver (violin), “Spec” feels the massive weight of the world and existence, yet seeks to clear the table and consciousness, to bring ease where the heart and mind have fallen down far too many times, such as we do in life. Each member fills the tracks with a somber yet thoughtful tone, enriching further our search for meaning to the events populating our lives.
To listen for yourselves, please look into their Bandcamp site at https://elonzowesley.bandcamp.com/, and further listening, Elonzo Wesley can be enjoyed on Spotify and at their soundcloud, https://soundcloud.com/elonzowesley .
They’ll be out of the Charlotte region for the remainder of November, but they’ll return on Dec. 11th, starting with a solo performance at Ole Dallas Brewery that evening.
As always, please support your local music and local artists. The Charlotte Scene is vibrant with our many different actors, go give them some love!
That’s all from us day. Stay Warned, Stay Informed. Reporting live, From 20XX
– D. Sigma