ABOVE: ALEXANDER KOTZ. PHOTO COURTESY OF THE ARTIST.
As a producer, singer, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist, Elderbrook (born Alexander Kotz) wears every hat when it comes to his music. The result is calmly expressive electronica. His beats have a subtle yet elastic energy that sets him apart from the crowd and allows listeners to enter a comfortable trance. His new track “Closer,” premiering exclusively below, is a characteristic example. It features deep, dark piano sounds juxtaposed with higher, gentler ones, which makes for an ambient melody. The vocals are folk inspired, and Kotz tenderly croons about a nearly ideal romance, which is an unexpected twist considering he never intended to write a love song.
Kotz explains that the track tells a complicated and somewhat contradictory tale of love, in that its narrator praises “this beautiful, angelic, mesmerizing being,” yet the verse (“Never been closer / To loving gone right”) “[suggests] that the idea of perfect love isn’t achievable. Almost as if the narrator is unsure of their love.” The narrator in “Closer” is a dreamer, romanticizing his lover into something as ethereal and hypnotic as the track’s own percussion. Two beats later, he’s a realist, admitting that “loving gone right” is something he can never get a steady grasp on. Rather, he can only come close to it.
The track’s musicality is equally as fickle as its thematic content. There’s an infinite spectrum of sounds neatly contained in its four finite minutes, which blend folk, gospel, blues, and electronic four-on-the-floor style production. With such varied musical influences impacting production, “Closer” is ultimately a melting pot of genres. Kotz speaks to this, saying, “I love all of those kinds of music and I just like taking ideas from different musical avenues and gelling them together—using different aspects of the old to help make something new.”
“CLOSER” WILL BE RELEASED THIS FRIDAY, AUGUST 12, 2016 VIA KOBALT. FOR MORE ON ELDERBROOK, VISIT HIS FACEBOOK.