Originally formed back in 2014, Elder Brother – the brainchild of Dan Rose (Daybreaker) and Kevin Geyer (The Story So Far) – have undertaken somewhat of a makeover for their high anticipated third full-length record.
The pair have brought on board bassist Morgan Foster and drummer Evan Garcia-Renart to the line-up as the newly formed quartet embark on ‘I Won’t Fade On You’.
Opening with the title-track provides a very mellow, delicate start to the album ultimately establishing the stripped back tone that transpires throughout. However, the momentum does begin to form as we transition into ‘Halloween’, which grapples with the notion of the scary stage of a relationship where you have to decide if there’s any future to it, all cleverly summarised using this metaphor of Halloween to liken the two.
This theme of uncertainty in relationships crops up yet again in ‘Ok, Alright’, but this time in the form of maintaining long distance. The band’s lyrical abilities really shine as they perfectly paint this problematic scenario, whether that be internet connections getting lost or the poignant “Is the sun coming up? / I’m still bathing in moonlight” beautifully describing the time difference issues.
Given their original roots as a duo, Elder Brother don’t tend to shy away from additional musicians coming into the mix, and this album sees no different. ‘I Get So Tired Of You’ allows Garcia-Renart to bring his piano skills to the forefront to create a funk-infused keyboard-led track, whilst ‘The War Is Over’ and ‘Wasted’ bring in an extra treat of the trumpet brought to fruition by Matt Steward (Streetlight Manifesto).
Throughout the record, there’s a real overriding theme of growing up and maturing, but ultimately always appreciating your past and honouring your roots. ‘If You Love Me (Like You Say)’ really hones in on this message to love your friends and family through the good and bad times. A track which pays memory to their good friend Tim Landers (Transit), who tragically passed away in 2019.
Although Elder Brother actively choose to keep their music relatively toned down and songs form more organically as opposed to throwing in distortion to ramp up the volume, at no point within these eleven tracks does it become mundane or easy to zone out. Showcased in ‘Hair’ and ‘High’, they have this inherit skill to hone in on a nostalgic acoustic guitar that’s reminiscent of City & Colour vibe whilst retaining a contemporary midwestern emo sound.
‘I Won’t Fade On You’ demonstrates perfectly how sometimes change can be positive. Introducing these new musicians has given the band a chance to grow and mature their sound and for a project that was essentially just a secondary musical outlet for one another, it’s safe to say Elder Brother are going from strength-to-strength.