Elderbrook has been making music for a while now, and he's now released his hotly-anticipated debut album, Why Do We Shake In The Cold? It's an album talking about human emotion and connection - a topic that's never been more relevant than in 2020, given how topsy-turvy this year has been.
My House was written during lockdown, and talks about Elderbrook's experience during 2020. He's enjoyed spending time in his house, but it's a look at how society is always wanting the next, best thing - and the culture that surrounds this idea. When we spoke to Elderbrook, he mentioned he's been spending more time with his fiancée, as well as spending more time on social media to connect with those around him.
It's not the year he imagined himself having, but he's made the most of it. "I’ve been lucky enough to be locked down with my fiancée, Sophie. I think like a lot of people I’ve taken to social media technology to stay in touch with people that I need to. Both people I’m working with and loved ones and friends." Like the rest of us, Elderbrook has turned to online to stay in touch with everyone in his life, and he's embraced the possibilities the Internet offers in both his personal life, as well as when writing the album.
Lockdown has thrown up some interesting challenges when it came to writing the album. Making new music with other artists has proved to be difficult, given he hasn't been able to meet with them face-to-face. However, adopting a new method of working has opened up a whole new world of people to collaborate with. "Something that’s been really difficult is writing new music with other people. I love writing with other people and I’d usually be in face-to-face sessions with people writing for them or for me or just for the sake of it. I’ve done a couple of online sessions over the last few months and, though they are difficult, I’ve been able to get some great songs working online with various producers and some writers around the world." Taking a global approach to the album has helped Elderbrook further explore the sounds he's looking for - when the world is at your fingertips, you can make exactly what you have in mind.
The new album sees Elderbrook embracing the sounds he's always imagined himself making. It's a bit of a sonic shift for him, but he says it's a lot more true to the music he wants to create. The album sees him working on making more anthemic-sounding music, as well as incorporating folk sounds, and everything in-between. It's a smorgasbord of electronic sounds and is his way of showing exactly what music he wants to create. "This album is a little different to what I’ve been releasing in the last few years, but I definitely feel like it’s more true to myself and to the artist that I’ve always wanted to be. The music I released on my 7-track EP back in 2017 is actually a lot more similar to what the album entails. When I released Cola just after that, it kind of set me on a different trajectory but I’m glad to be back releasing the music that feels a lot more true to Elderbrook now." He's embracing the sounds he wants to hear, and making a record that speaks to both the music he enjoys, as well as putting forward the messages of human connection and community he holds dear.
Speaking about the tracks on the album, Elderbrook singles out Down By The Bay as one of his favourites - and a great summary of what the album will sound like. "It’s a little bit slower than what I’m used to but I really feel like that gave me the chance to explore more of an anthemic, epic sound which I definitely feel like I’ve achieved on the song. It definitely leans into a more indie/alternative sound while still maintaining an electronic Elderbrookness to it." It's a track about wanting to be present for someone but not being able to, whether it be due to work, or drifting apart. 2020 has helped us be there for some people, but not for others - and this track takes a look at how that affects everyone involved. Keep an eye out for that track when it drops in the near future.
Elderbrook both produces and sings in his music - a trait that isn't entirely common when it comes to electronic artists. Both those aspects of his music overlap, and while sometimes he has to keep one of those sides of him at bay to work on the other, in the end, it's a win. "Sometimes it can even be a bit frustrating when I am trying to figure out the production but then suddenly I get a vocal idea. It can be difficult to remember the idea while I’m finishing off the production but somehow it usually comes together! I think it’s definitely more of a help than a hindrance." When he's got an idea in his head, he's unable to shake it, but being able to both produce the instrumental, and lays down the vocals, means that both aspects of a track sync up harmoniously.
If there's one thing that you'll take away from an Elderbrook live show it's his dance moves, and there's one move in particular that he considers to be his signature move. "The classic “Elderbrook slalom” has made appearances all over the globe, where my knees slalom like in skiing." That's not his only move, though - check out the Instagram post below for just one example of what he likes to get up to on (and off) stage. Elderbrook isn't afraid to poke a little bit of fun at himself, after all.
As someone who is a frequent user of social media to communicate with those around him, Elderbrook has seen the benefits of being able to stay in touch with both his fans and his family and friends. It's been a great way for him to keep creative and explore new ideas - and he's recently been sharing covers of some of his favourite songs online that he's been working on while in self-isolation. "Social media has helped so much with keeping in touch with everyone. It’s been great for me to share my new covers online and do all of these live sets that I can share with people." Elderbrook is active on both Instagram and TikTok, making videos such as the one below, which sees him giving advice on how to survive the quarantine. Get your notepad out - Elderbrook is sharing his wisdom.
While Elderbrook has always used the power of social media to help connect with his fans, he's starting to see a shift in how the music industry communicates with people that love their music. There's been a marked uptick in the amount of social media use by artists, in place of touring, and Elderbrook thinks this will be a permanent shift. "I think all of this crazy stuff will definitely change the landscape for artist interaction going forward/ I think it could potentially be quite exciting!" We'll wait and see as to whether his prediction pans out - but given his track record so far, we're pretty confident he'll be on the money.