Symptomatic - The Little Unsaid
We have been a massive fan of our next LCM featured artist for a few years now. He is a multi-instrumentalist, producer, master of the loop station, superb songwriter, arranger and vocalist.....and he often plays with a great string section as well. West Yorkshire born and London based John Elliott is better know by his moniker The Little Unsaid and we are thrilled that he is releasing his new album 'Imagined Hymns and Chaingang Mantras' shortly. John is one of my favourite live performers with the 'wow' factor and the wonderful news is that he is heading for an intimate show at the Green Note on 12th January. As a taster of the new album our LCM #TrackOfTheDay is the sublime 'Symptomatic'.
For John Elliott, the beating heart behind 'The Little Unsaid', the so-called traumatic experience brought life and his music career to a standstill. After being diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder at the end of a year of ongoing personal trauma, he gradually returned to songwriting as a means of recovery.
One year on, after a return to a relentless touring schedule, he was back in the studio with his band, working on songs that distilled this search for meaning in trauma in to a new album. Recorded with Jonny Greenwood’s producer and Radiohead engineer Graeme Stewart, the eleven hauntingly personal songs that make up 'Imagined Hymns & Chaingang Mantras' – funded via Pledge Music and the band’s stalwart fan base - celebrate the reawakening of love and the imagination after emerging from a psychological crisis.
Combining minimalist electronics, cinematic strings, hypnotic piano loops and Elliott’s androgynous vocals, the leading single Symptomatic sees the band refining what Dots and Dashes has called their ‘giddying conflation of folk, electronica and lavish orchestration…one of the supposed genre’s grandest successes thus far.’ Elliott’s sparsely poetic lyrics depict a person grieving the sudden return of their inner demons after convincing themselves they were ‘out of the woods.’ “It’s a melancholy tune, but as with all the songs on the album I’d like to think there’s always a flicker of hope in that darkness. In this case it’s the idea of letting someone in to accept and even love the side of yourself that still suffers from those old wounds, and the relief when that person doesn’t run away screaming.”
Having sold out their last three shows in London and played to increasingly packed venues across the UK, Elliott and the band will continue to build their reputation as a must-see live act during their upcoming winter tour, with performances described as sliding between Nick Cave-esque fury and the tender sincerity of Leonard Cohen. “For us it’s all about chasing those moments of magic that occur in a room when the music and the energy of an audience creates sparks. The search for that magic is a constant driving force in how we deliver these songs, because it’s the purest reminder that we all suffer, that everybody is dealing with their own inner struggles and so many of us are just trying to keep it together from one moment to the next. There’s unity and there’s joy in that realisation, I think - in us recognising each other’s pain and dancing together wildly in the face of it.”