It’s twenty-sixteen in the southwestern corner of America. There’s snow in the distant mountains and the slow desert sunset creeps through the windshield of the Mercury on 40 West. The young man is driving home, wherever that is.
He was born in a small woodland house in the Hudson Valley, raised in rural Maine, and enlightened by time spent in New York City. He’s landed in Los Angeles for now, where the Sunset Strip is a wasteland, Silverlake has peaked, and the spirit of Laurel Canyon echoes through the hills of Highland Park. The end of the world is a damn inspirational place to be.
He writes and records. The hard work shines through in his craft without a scrap of it being over-thought. It’s American music. It’s conceived on highways between cities past their prime. It’s born from memories and dreams of fresh starts. There’s rich history to draw from in Nashville, Memphis, Muscle Shoals, Bakersfield and Austin, but he doesn’t desire a repeat. He celebrates the richness of a multi-generational record collection while adding a fresh voice to the conversation, and the music is new.
Every year Elijah Ocean crisscrosses the country singing his songs and making memories. With three full-length LPs under his belt and a fourth in the chamber, Ocean is just hitting his stride.
For now there’s a much-needed diner booth in Needles on 66. Welcome to California. Set your clocks.