Nocturnal, atmospheric and tempered with a taste of mystery. Leland Ettinger returns to music in Leland and the Silver Wells, and the band’s self-titled September release. Fans of the stylish alternative singer/songwriter are given front row seats to a sonic tour de force guaranteed to leave a lasting impression after even a single listening session. I sat down and previewed Silver Wells recently, a little less than a month before its release date, and while I was certainly expecting to enjoy the content that was laid out before me, I couldn’t have guessed beforehand that this would end up being my favorite album, pop/rock or otherwise, of 2018 (and possibly the latter portion of the 2010s in general).
From the swaggering anti-folk of “We Dissolve” to the carnal lust of “Give up the Gun,” Leland Ettinger proves that even though she hasn’t worked out in the studio since the 2000s, her style has hardly become shortsighted or rooted in a one dimensional perspective. When juxtaposed with her two previous records, this album sounds like a more mature group of songs that couldn’t have existed ten years ago, or at least in the format that she was primarily employing back then. Her sound hasn’t deviated too harshly from what it was the last time we saw her, but it has definitely grown into its own and become distinctively recognizable amidst all of the intriguing new singer/songwriters occupying the charts as of recently. She’s as artistically muscular as she ever was, and this could be her heaviest set of tracks yet.
Silver Wells Are Classic and Modern At The Same Time
Leland and the Silver Wells isn’t a greatest hits album, but it’s nevertheless a very anthological piece that cohesively melds together like a progressive rock opera, minus to egomaniacal self-righteousness. My only real complaint with this record would be that it’s a tad jam-packed compared to what most casual listeners might be accustom too, making it difficult for the non-music aficionado to appreciate the depth of its configuration. Honestly I think those listeners make up the vast majority of Ettinger’s core fan base though, and really anyone who doesn’t grasp the intensity of an album as sleek as this one probably shouldn’t bother listening to anything other than a big box radio station.
The Silver Wells are ready for primetime, and this record could serve as their imposing frontwoman’s long awaited segue into large scale exposure, even if it is a little futuristic for its time. American audiences have been leaning more and more towards postmodernity in their music, and this album is in many ways a direct result of a collective renewed interest in pop music that lives and dies on the outside of the mainstream. No matter what your personal taste is, I highly recommend giving Leland and the Silver Wells’ new tunes a spin, if only to get a glimpse into what the future of pop music is probably going to end up sounding and looking like in the not so distant months and years to come.
Find more from Leland and The Silver Wells on their WEBSITE
-review by Jodi Marxbury