June 26, 2013

Song Review: Ellery James Roberts' "Kerou's Lament"

At the tail end of 2012, Ellery James Roberts unceremoniously dumped his bandmates in the viral Manchester post-pop collective WU LYF just a year after their BUZZworthy debut Go Tell Fire On the Mountain made them indie scene breakouts. Words on their demise were spitting and ominous, with Ellery hints at a lack of inspiration to carry on with his three former bros being a harsh way of putting the blame on creative differences between the four. Since then, the three remaining members have regrouped as the ordinary-sounding summer pop act Los Porcos, while Ellery is now marching on under his own bold coda, new track in tow. "Kerou's Lament" provides enough explanation in its lofty aspirations that WU LYF's vague parting words could not with its elated synth sample of the Clams Casino / Lil' B collab "I'm God" propped behind the track's life-affirming anthemry of big, climactic symphonics à la Andrew W.K. or Fang Island as Roberts exalting a new found sense of worth ("I am so alive / I can barely feel fear / And I won't let go / Of this life / I'm going to free myself...) on his first outing since removing himself from WU LYF. In a way, "Kerou's Lament" brings to mind the polarizing split personalities between his ex-band's stylistic predecessors Wolf Parade and its primary songwriters, Spencer Krug and Dan Boeckner, whose differing perspectives tend to force lengthy hiatuses between LPs so Krug can delve into ornate songwriting with Sunset Rubdown and Moon Face while Boeckner casts a larger shadow with his gruff howl into riskier, yet more accessible ventures in Handsome Furs and Divine Fits. In this case, Ellery James Roberts' is the Boeckner of WU LYF's post-breakup careers, looking forward with wider eyes and stepping out of his past life into a future that sounds wildly promising unlike the bridge burning behind him.

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