Album Cover
The Elected
Me First
Sub Pop
February 03, 2004


Certainly, we are amidst a neo-folk revival period. I don't have to prove it, or name drop a stacked paragraph of such groups: Iron & Wine, Wilco, Sufjan Stevens, Holowpaw, and hmmm... The Fruit Bats. The debut release by The Elected, a parallel project of Rilo Kiley's Blake Sennett, titled Me First was recently made available by none other than Sub Pop Records. Which is responsible for a majority of the county/folk-pop that's tapping its' foot throughout Americana these days.

Of course, no folk-influenced or alt-country album would be complete, by today's standards, without using the modern age's innovations of the laptop at some point, and The Elected don't disappoint. Meaning that Me First is by no means purely a recycled folk-pop album. I'm hearing samples, lap steel, electronic augmentation, and the trademark acoustic guitar. These sounds make up the bulk of the melodic foreplay while a blast of ambience and swirling guitars back-up the fragile vocals. Sennett's tendency is to write country/folk songs with wide swirling pop arrangements while breathing out stories of romance and past memories.

The album opener, "7th September 2003," includes operatic sampling, lap steel guitars, and acoustic strumming. Meanwhile, Sennett wispily foreshadows the remainder of the album with the lyrics, "Oh, the stories they say we'll tell/ Well, I tell too many stories, so I guess it's just as well." The second track, "Greetings in Braille," is easily one of the finer points of the album. I can't imagine what the words for "Hello" would be when written in Braille but they can't be as enjoyable as the auditory version. So, let's just be lucky we aren't deaf, unless you, the reader, is handicapped in such a manner, but then I'd have to ask why you're reading a review of music. Weirdo.

With the resurgence of a myriad of alt-folk troubadour's there is the clear worry that these will start to run into each other and create a general blah-ness in the genre. The Elected, through creative writing, original composition and inventive attention-keeping (think break beats) manage to abstain from such faux-pas. Where would you want to listen to this album? It must be inordinately dusty, and it would definitely help if the sun was setting in an orange horizon. Other than that, I can't help you if you don't have warm fuzzy feeling inside after a rotation of Me First. Maybe you could spit seeds and watch a baseball game, if you must.

Jacob Daley

Track List

  1. 7 September 2003
  2. Greetings in Braille
  3. My Baby's a Dick
  4. A Time for Emily
  5. Don't Get Your Hopes Up
  6. Waves
  7. The Miles 'Til Home
  8. Go On
  9. C'mon, Mom
  10. A Response to Greed
  11. Don't Blow It
  12. British Columbia