Los Angeles, California boasts some of the most transcendent sunsets on Planet Earth. Beatific, swirling miasmas of deep color culled from some distant, holy palette. But before we get carried away, it’s important to remember that the sunsets of Los Angeles would be nothing without the thousands of noxious chemicals that blanket the greater San Fernando region. L.A. sunsets look that way because of the smog.
This is perhaps the most telling piece of ephemeral trivia about Los Angeles, which is, arguably, the most reviled city in the country. There IS beauty here, hiding amongst the rows of stretch Hummer limousines and gargantuan saline breast implants. But it is a complicated beauty, one born of an incredibly unique environment and one that flourishes against all odds.
The Elected have taken some of these cosmic contradictions that fuel Los Angeles and made a record that is simultaneously timeless in its themes and incredibly personal and specific in its execution. Grand anthems give way to delicate and unambiguous reflections on love and loss. Ultimately, The Elected have made a record of complicated beauty.
Music-geeks and cultural historians have made a lot of noise throughout the years about the fabled sunny-‘60s “California Sound” embodied by psychedelic wild-west harmonies and ocean-soaked pop. Of course, the history of the true California sound is far more bleak – from Gram Parsons’ legendary desert cremation; to David Crosby snorting literal mountains of coke up his nose in Laurel Canyon; to Brian Wilson going into a surreal hibernation after a complete meltdown.