Live Review: Faith Eliott, Hug & Pint, Glasgow, Sun 5 May
- Sean Greenhorn
- 6 May 2019
Delicate, inventive, emotional and evocative show from the Glasgow-based DIY artist and musician
Faith Eliott is all nervous energy onstage, introducing the band early on in an endearingly clumsy way and explaining songs with an overuse of the word 'like'. Tonight, the Minneapolis-born, Edinburgh-based DIY artist and musician is launching new album Impossible Bodies. The album is released on OK Pal Records, a label which Eliott founded with fellow Edinburgh musician Hailey Beavis. Every track is about an animal, and whilst this sounds incredibly cutesy, Eliott's lyrics probe distinctly human questions around identity, emotional connections and our place in the universe.
Joined by three other musicians Eliott's finger-picking acoustic guitar is at the centre, accompanied by keyboard, violin and electric guitar. The lack of a drumkit gives the music an airy weightlessness and at times the interplay between violin and keyboard extend out like the score to a film, allowing Eliott's evocative lyrics to tell stories on these landscapes.
Each song invites the audience into a delicate little world, inhabited by the impossible bodies of the album title. Throughout the evening, Eliott switches from sparse arrangements to fuller songs, with 'Lilith', the lead single, the first to really elevate the show. In this song, slowly building textures allow the audience to distinctly hear each member of the band, with Eliott's lyrics telling the mythological story of Adam's first wife Lilith, created before Eve.
The set is short but reflects the limited releases Eliott has so far. Throughout the evening, there are hints that they are still tinkering with how to translate these delicate arrangements to a live band context. A tempo switch at the end of one song is followed by relieved exchanges from the band and a quiet exclamation stating 'it worked!'. Live, it is easy to see how with a larger back catalogue and more time together as a band, Eliott (and OK Pal Records) could become a very welcome addition to Scotland's DIY scene.
Faith Eliott plays Skylight, Edinburgh, Fri 10 May.