The Scotland Yard Gospel Choir
Songs that crackle with the sweeping intensity of life in its totality—songs that evoke the jubilation of an early spring as effortlessly as the desolation of a Chicago winter.
On the group’s self-titled sophomore album (their first for Bloodshot) Scotland Yard Gospel Choir delivers songs that crackle with the sweeping intensity of life in its totality—songs that evoke the jubilation of an early spring as effortlessly as the desolation of a Chicago winter.
Yet these are not precious mash notes from the Choir—ringleader Elia Einhorn might be armed with a pea coat of pop smarts and impeccable songcraft, but the lyrics come from a deceptively dark place. A drug dealer in his formative years, Elia experienced profound lows yet emerged with a set of songs that fearlessly and directly address his personal turmoil. Clear-eyed and self-aware, the lyrics portray the trauma of a youth spent recklessly. The songs on Scotland Yard Gospel Choir are disarmingly honest, with Elia examining issues of drug abuse, mental illness and sexual identity in a songwriting voice uniquely his own.
More than 50 musicians appear on Scotland Yard Gospel Choir, including core players Ellen O’Hayer (Bright Eyes), bassist and recording engineer Mark Yoshizumi, drummer Jay Santana, violin player Ethan Adelsman and Sam Johnson of Mucca Pazza and Head of Femur on trumpet. The extended Scotland Yard family is comprised of a who’s-who of the Chicago underground music community, boasting the likes of Sally Timms, Nora O’Connor and Kelly Hogan, who sing backup on the album, and Nate Walcott (Bright Eyes, Rilo Kiley), Matt Priest and Megan O’Conner (Canasta).