Published Oct 22, 2020Sparing no subtleties when it comes to religious imagery, it's uncertain whether The Elwins have found God on IV, their aptly titled fourth album, or there's supposed to be some higher literary meaning. The deeper you get into the record, the more obvious these references become. It starts on the galloping snares of "Let Her Be the One," with a chorus that appropriately repeats "My God, let her be the one." This follows through to "Daughter Song," detailing the crucifixion of Jesus.
Something about the string arrangements and chord progressions of these reverent songs reveals a folk-pop inspiration, giving a sense of optimism. These tracks, as well as the rest of the album, show what has always been true of the Elwins; they're lyrically simple, but just a touch corny. However, there's still enough charm to remember the roaring choruses with fondness.
Despite these new flares, IV is still chock full of familiar Elwins-esque regional pop-rock and it makes sense that this would be the natural next step for the band. They've retained enough of their original sound to not draw attention to themselves while continuing to settle comfortably into the indie pop paradigm of southern Ontario.
Though it's mostly a tame album, there's a muffled saxophone solo on "Slow Motion" that breaks up the chant-along anthems; IV is pretty solo-heavy generally, this one stands out because of its simplicity. By switching out the guitars just this once, it adds a suaveness and gives a sense of attitude. There's enough to show that the Elwins know how to write fun and catchy songs, but whether you like it or not, this record will live in your head rent-free. (Pink Eye Recordings)