Genre: indie rock / shoe gaze / goth
Hometown: Portland, Oregon
Influences: Low, Nick Cave, Sunny Day Real Estate
Sounds like: Low, Angels of Light, Sunny Day Real Estate
Distant, somber, and often times, crushingly bleak—Young Elk's songs are painfully deliberate. In fact, everything is done on purpose. The songs, often penned by frontman and guitar player Ezekiel J Rudick, weave a tapestry of complicated stories that delve into the depths of faith, doubt, abuse, death, and divorce.
Though, led by a songwriter, Young Elk is not content to merely be labeled "a man and his band." The music itself serves as the framework to plow the depths of such darkness. Subtly straddling the blurred lines between post punk, 90s-era Northwestern indie rock, and alt country, Young Elk has developed a one-of-a-kind sound pulling from influences like Pedro the Lion, Nick Cave, Low, and Bedhead.
Young Elk's forthcoming debut LP The Dark Side of the Holy Ghost tells the story of a young man grappling with questions of faith and existentialism with a very precise sense of brutalism—all packaged in a dimly lit package of dark indie rock and post punk, not unlike earlier releases by The National and The Black Heart Procession.
Young Elk's debut LP, "The Dark Side of the Holy Ghost" is available now on vinyl and digital download on Holiday Breath Records
"This is the kind of album best enjoyed with blunted spirits, ensnared as it is within a sinister realm of minimalism, which is dimly portended during the barebones “Should Have Done Something.” Still, Young Elk’s power lies in a willingness to close in on itself slowly, like the petals of a summer poppy at night." (The Portland Mercury)
"The title track off Young Elk’s debut LP, 'The Dark Side of the Holy Ghost' is a memorably haunting release that features a developmentally chugging melody, with solemn vocals, sullen string flourishes, and a coarse twangy guitar" (Obscure Sound)
"Borrowing heavily from the Slo-core scene of the late 90’s, the steady chug of this thickly produced track is both endearing and memorable. (Pop Occulture)
"Imagine taking the slow-burn bitterness of Bazan, adding the sinister undercurrent of Water Liars and sprinkling an almost Berningerian knack for imagery both mundane and melodramatic, and you’ll be getting somewhere close to how it plays." (Wake the Deaf)