It may be under the radar for some of you, but for me and a small group of fans, the music event of the year is Karen Elson’s new album. We have been waiting seven years for this! Numerology may be bunk, but seven is a significant number. It’s long time in the life of an artist, and of course, I’m excited to know where Karen Elson is in hers. I was expecting her to start recording heartbreak songs after her 2013 divorce, as many artists do. But she proved that she’s classier than that. It seems that Elson is not the kind of artist who creates compulsively, but one who does so slowly and deliberately. So, I will shortly be coming back with my impressions of the newly released Double Roses. In the meantime, enjoy a throwback from The Ghost Who Walks.
The good news is, Karen Elson has promised to put out a new album this year. That’s really all the confirmed details I know, though I understand that she’s still affiliated with Third Man Records and has been recording in Nashville. She’s been performing live with some regularity, including a duet with Michael Stipe at the David Bowie memorial and an appearance at Dylan Fest. And of course, her day job keeps her busy as well. Take your time and make the best album you can, Karen, no pressure. It’s just that six years is a really long time.
The iconic and gifted – but underproductive! – Karen Elson. Elson has something that’s rare in both of her lines of work; a fully fledged personality. Fashion models, obviously, roll off the production line like Mattel products, but young women singer-songwriters are nearly just heavily molded to suit a marketable standard. Elson has a face that tells a story. She’s always presented herself as an eerie meld of silent film gamine and glam rocker. So it was no surprise when she came out as a songwriter, that her songs would be about things like sharecropping in the Great Depression, and would carry more debt to Patsy Cline and Tom Waits than anything that could be used to sell perfume.