Elwood Mercy is a new band fronted by Alton San Giovanni, who’s former project Niteppl became a staple of the San Francisco music scene during the early-mid 20-teens. Alton, now a touring member of Ryan Karazija’s Low Roar and coming out of a 2017 in which he had the opportunity to tour much of North America and Europe, has truly come of age musically. Combing insightful, biting songwriting with deceptively simple pop arrangements, and just a hint of film-score sensibilities, Elwood Mercy is Alton’s attempt to broaden himself as an artist and find his place in this strange new world. While Alton’s music as Niteppl focused largely on exploring post-EDM, and was compared to the bombast of artists such as M83, MGMT, and Justice, Elwood Mercy see’s San
Giovanni stripping his sound and sensibilities down to the bone, and creating something that is completely his own.
3 <3 Songs, Elwood Mercy’s first EP, is a short sampler of things to come. The opening track Bug Song throws the listener almost immediately into a world of blasting percussion and searing lyrical content. The song explodes with elements of 70’s rock, with blistering layered guitar, tambourine, and a mid-song breakdown reminiscent of 60’s psychedelia stars Tame Impala.
Raaags continues the three track EP with a feeling of longing and a sense of not just an unrequited love, but a life left unlived. This feeling mixed with Alton’s distinctive production style and arrangement oozes with images of
driving across California freeways with no destination in mind.
The final track Crushed Velvet Ultra Lovers (Pt. I) sees a calmer, most narrative driven piece. The titular Crushed Velvet Ultra Lovers are a couple that are being torn apart by an outside force, known in the song as the Black Hole Super Soldier. This song again bleeds 60’s and 70’s rock worship, and finishes the EP with Alton’s pleas to feel “braaaaaaaannnnnd neeeeeewww”.
With his first EP 3 <3 Songs, Alton San Giovanni’s Elwood Mercy seeks to position itself as a new voice in the indie-rock, singer-songwriter genre. San Giovanni’s distinct singing style and efficiency at lean, mean songwriting cements Elwood Mercy as a band to watch.
"Elwood Mercy's Single 'Bug Song' Brings You To That Place. Then Keeps You Hooked With 3 Song EP.. ‘3 <3 Songs' is the buffet sampler of things that are being constructed in Alton's diabolic musical mind. You fall in love with this single 'Bug Song'. Then you are confused about 'that love' in 'Crushed Velvet Ultra Lovers' and 'Raags'. It's a trip around the world of and about love, in three effective songs." - Comeherefloyd