Led by Blake Sennet's fragile, wavering crescendos and '60s pop-ish coos, The Elected's debut album, Me First, is a textured, up-close collection of affectionate confessions. Mixing the country tinge of the lap steel and harmonica with the heartfelt serenading of the acoustics and spacey traveling of electronics, Me First is a Sunday record, a rainy-day record, a home-alone record, a lying-on-the-floor, staring-at-the-ceiling record.
The Elected Rilo Kiley co-singer/songwriter Sennett's side-project help you slow down and enjoy where you are. And with a lot of sweet, heartbreak moments stir up a little emotion inside too.
The galloping melodies and snapping beats feeding "Don't Get Your Hopes Up" may be uplifting but the story line isn't: "You only get one wish/ That you'll probably never make," sings Sennett. "You're just makin' a mistake/ For the time that you're awake/ You only get one chance/ That you'll probably never take."
The wailing, meandering instrumentation on "Greetings in Braille" come together like the ocean's water when it crashes ashore, making the perfect wave. The brooding song builds and breaks, accepts and denies. "If my senses fail/ Stay with me 'til they go/ 'Cause I don't want to be alone," he pleads in his high-pitched coos. "If living's such hell/ Here's to your dying days/ You won't have to be afraid."
With a bursting beat and an impatient, troubled rhythm, "My Baby's a Dick" calls out an ex on hypocrisy: "Girl/ You've got some explaining to do/ 'Cause it seems that you miss me/ Now that we're through," Sennett sings with a bitter rasp atop an infectious melody.
"A Response to Greed" points most to the fact that Mike Mogis (Saddle Creek Records co-owner, most known for his work with Bright Eyes) produced the record. It recalls the heavy, desperate heartbroken wails of Bright Eyes' Conor Oberst. Sluggish, the lap steels yearns in the distance, while intricate acoustic plucks threaten at the forefront and Sennett moans languidly with the most broken desperation of the album.
Me First employs light, textured, folky instrumentation alongside personal, impassioned songwriting, resulting in a warm collection perfect for a Sunday, rainy day, home-alone day or lying-on-the-floor, staring-at-the-ceiling kind of day. You get the idea.