• Review

SINGLE REVIEW: On a Roll - Elijah Batson

Elijah Batson is something of a multi-everything person. Singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and someone who has played with a who’s who of local talent as well. I became aware of Elijah when they took over drumming for local favorites Frontier Folk Nebraska, and then while still their drummer they played with Arlo McKinley, Willy Tea Taylor, and Quiet Hollers. Some time passed and I then saw that they were doing some of their own music and became intrigued as to what this could be. So, I was delighted when Elijah asked me to review their upcoming single “On a Roll.” Let’s dive in then.

 The narrator seems to traverse a series of events that almost get somewhere but doesn’t really amount too much. “New flowers on an old grave / on a roll but in a bad way / almost enough to convince me that things could change,” is a line from the chorus. The events amount to something, but probably not what the narrator was expecting. The narrator almost seems like the start of something new would be a welcomed change, because anything from what is going on would be much better. All songs, or any art is somewhat autobiographical. You are adding the experiences from your own life to fit a narrative of a song, or even an idea of a song. The character in the song was a on the proverbial “roll” with this series of events, and any amount of change would be welcomed. The beauty of this is that I could be completely wrong, and that’s alright. What I don’t think I am wrong about though is the sonics.

“On a Roll,” is well put together. Elijah played all the instruments and did all the singing. They put together quite the song at that considering the layers. The musician in me loves this, and I bet it was a blast for them. For some it might sound daunting, and maybe for Elijah it was, but I also think that it’s all on you. You are showing up for yourself. Nobody else to rely on other than the engineer (in this case it was Mikey Chappell who recorded Elijah) to make sure all gets recorded and such. The song rocks. Whether it is the distorted guitar, the crash of the cymbals, it just rocks. I like the electric guitar flutter at the beginning, and that carries on throughout the song. I think I hear an organ, but hell I could be off in some alternate dimension thinking of all the things that have sent me “On a Roll,” like this.

Elijah Batson is the author of this fantastic song. I would suggest giving it a listen, it’s a pretty great driving-around song. I’m excited to hear what other songs they come up with in the future, but all in due time. Speaking of songs, they have quite a few singles out and you can find them on Bandcamp. Elijah has put together quite the song. I hope I am completely wrong about my take on this song because I prefer mystery, or someone else hearing something different, and hopefully both views are far away from what the author originally intended. I like that. Go give them a listen. Elijah is playing all kinds of shows around Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky. You can follow them on Instagram @goth_kart to keep up to date with all the things. Be well, be kind, and enjoy the listening.