by Lauren Rosier
The 22-year-old music industry photojournalist, Damon Mitchell, releases his musical debut Elise EP. The classic-indie-pop EP was inspired by 60s and 70s music especially the works of Sir Paul McCartney and is also reminiscent of the likes of Neil Young and Steely Dan.
Elise reminds me greatly of the classic-indie-pop from duo The Lost Patrol or similar artists with elements of the 60s and 70s. The album opens with the track “Heist” where Mitchell sings about a person who he has feelings for, while some type of crime occurs with gunshots ringing out.
On Elise, renowned drummer, Tris Imboden (Chicago, Crosby, Stills, & Nash), is featured on Mitchell’s debut EP. Produced by award-winning and much respected bassist, Dave Martin, at Sweetwater Studios, the record continues with the track “Just A Face.”
Mitchell sings about a woman seen in a crowd: “she says goodbye/you say hello/when it’s a name you’d like know/she’s just a face/in a crowded space/you’d like to know/you’re just a boy/she’s just a girl/but in your heart/she’s the whole world…” and continues to sing: “…you’d like to know/you’d like to know her/you wanna be together/you’d love to love her/but she is just a stranger…” and his desire to meet this girl despite her being a stranger.
Mitchell, a singer/songwriter six-stringer, recently appeared as a guest guitarist/vocalist with classic rock band, America, on their hit song “A Horse With No Name” at a recent show.
On “World In Her Eyes,” Mitchell adds some jazzy flair with a brass section, while singing about another significant other he’s attracted to: “I don’t know much about/I don’t even know where to begin/she’s a sheep in wolves’ clothing/and she’s gorgeous as dark as sin/I swear, she’s got a spell/and the power of hell from within/I don’t know too much about her/but I pray to Heaven she’ll let me in…”
The track is simplistic, but beautiful nonetheless, with his outpouring of love for this woman. The brass section adds depth, elements of jazz and sub-genres of jazz.
The final song on the EP is its title track about a woman named Elise who may or may not have been a significant other. Regardless, throughout the song you find she’s done him wrong: “…Hair as black as the wind/your touch is pure/you’re so cruel/I’m your fool/Elise/sweet, gentle eyes caress this love affair/the dark demand that I do not share/you break the ice and put it on your bruise/it’s turning black and blue/but it feels numb to you/locked up in a chain/you sweet, dirty thing/Elise…“
While Mitchell is still the beginning states of his musical career, the Elise EP is a great debut. The songwriting is entry-level, but still shows his lyric writing abilities, and shows in the EP’s storytelling and the ability to create a vision for the listener. Stay tuned for future news and music from Damon Mitchell via Facebook, Twitter, SoundCloud, and Instagram.