Robin Elliott is a songwriter, performer and recording artist based in London and Bordeaux. Professionally, he’s getting a lot of things wrong. While his contemporaries search for novel and intriguing soundscapes, Robin has spent his time crafting new shapes of song, seeking to develop traditional forms rather than break from them. Balanced by a desire to produce approachable and engaging work, this has resulted in a catalogue of endlessly creative, melodious, harmonically interesting and lyrically focussed songs, which remain nonetheless almost impossible to hashtag in a way that sounds cool.*
Robin’s full-length debut, There is a Land, will be released this November, across digital platforms and 12” vinyl. Co-produced by longtime collaborator Ben Walker (Folkroom Records), the album weaves diverse strands of influence into a compelling, coherent whole. Its 10 songs are each utterly different but are united by Robin’s compelling bespoke arrangements for the same small palette of instruments each time. At the centre is his voice: beautiful, strange and distinctive, equally adept at the high and plaintive as the declamatory or the dry. And there are jokes, odd references, intricate vocal harmonies, jazz players, weird skips beyond the fourth wall. It’s nice. Worth a listen.
There are hints of all this across Robin’s three previous releases, the EPs At Sunset and Green Ginger Wine (Textbook Records), and Weapons Antique & Modern (Folkroom Records). Live shows have taken him around the UK several times with contemporaries Jack Harris, Samantha Whates and Cameron Niven, and further afield into France, Italy and Brazil. The Weapons… EP is compiled from Robin’s early work as songwriter-for-hire, including from the award-winning documentary feature film A Very British Gangster.
*#singersongwriter? #acoustic? vomiting sadface. currently seeing if #trogfolk will stick. A mix of trad and prog, which - as in troglodytes - is also suggestive of general cave-dwelling and anachronism.