Louder Than Thou is the latest album from underground folk mainstays Elephant Micah, a rotating-member band headed up by one Joseph O’Connell. The record will be released on O'Connell's own Product of Palmyra label on January 31, 2012. Bridging the minimalist rock and sonic experimentation of early work for Time-Lag Records, Louder Than Thou is the clearest statement yet of the Elephant Micah sound. Where past releases have been a matter of stylistic tinkering, Louder settles into a meditative, avant-Americana that O’Connell and friends make fully their own. Soaring harmonies and ringing lap dulcimers nod to ‘70s songwriter-ism while simultaneously recasting the genre through textural play and ensemble improvisation. With Louder Than Thou, Elephant Micah secures its place alongside other masters of post-roots mood music such as Califone and Sun Kil Moon.
The record follows an already extensive catalogue of limited, home-produced, and otherwise difficult-to-find recordings, which have circulated far and wide among a small, dedicated online fan base. This music’s cult also includes peer musicians like Magnolia Electric Co., Dark Dark Dark, and Breathe Owl Breathe, who have toured with, accompanied, or covered the songs of Elephant Micah.
Louder Than Thou is closely tied to the musical life of Bloomington, Indiana and the greater region. The musicians that contribute to the record are part of a longstanding and celebrated underground music scene in this college town, which harbors more punk and indie bands than anyone can count. O’Connell, originally from the adjacent area of “Kentuckiana,” now resides in Bloomington and works as a folklorist with grassroots music communities around the state. These efforts helped earn O’Connell a grant from the state of Indiana in the field of folk and traditional music for 2012.
Louder Than Thou will be available January 31 as a limited edition deluxe LP (distributed by Time-Lag Records) and as a download from major digital outlets. In the spirit of the free culture movement, the album will also be available for download on a pay-what-you-want basis from Elephant Micah’s website.
released January 30, 2012
Songs from around 2008
Recorded in 2010 by O'Connell, Vollmar, and Vollmar with Kate Long, Michael Anderson, and Kyle Langvardt
Mixed and mastered with Mike Bridavsky, 2011
This release 2012, Product of Palmyra