Elliott Ok is an artist with a winding musical path. After a childhood spent playing in punk, reggae, and metal bands in Santa Cruz, California, he attended the UCLA School of Ethnomusicology where he could never quite get the right sound out of the Indian tabla, hurt his wrist playing the Turkish oud, never could play guitar like Kenny Burrell, and realized that playing music is more fun than writing papers about it. After graduating, he released a record with his neo-soul band Loos Leaf and contributed to an array of other artists’ projects while realizing he wanted a project that felt like a more personal reflection of his own self.
Elliott Ok’s debut album Eely (a nickname he is lovingly called by friends and bandmates) it out on April 1t and sounds like someone who has dipped their toes into many musical streams lacing up their sneakers and walking down the street, whistling their own tune. While “Eely” features collaborators like Bobcat Rob, Joe Kaplow, and Mickey Newball, Elliott Ok wrote all of the songs and handled most of the performing and engineering, in a small studio he set up in his basement.
The resulting record puts forth a vision that is singular yet warm and open, expansive yet intimate, wandering and diverse without ever straying from honest, singable melodies.
An indie-folk-rock album of sorts, Eely spends its 11 tracks sculpting colorful landscapes inhabited by old flames in psychedelic trailers, uncles who bought scratchers from the long-closed corner store, and new friends met, forgotten and remembered over sake and plum wine, all the while searching for love and community in a confusing world. But in the end, Elliott Ok need not look too far, for it took those things and more to create this album.
Glide is premiering Eely in full a fervently emotive collection of sly and soulful songs that reflect a Laurel Canyon vibe yet elicit an underground Americana edge. Elliott Ok shares a vision of a musical plateau where legitimate California 70’s rock meets the modern Nashville scene, upholding the value of top-shelf songwriting.